Severe drought reported in South Africa

Severe drought reported in South Africa

Executive Council of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), southeastern province of South Africa, has announced intends to declare eight areas in a "state of disaster" due to severe drought conditions. 

According to their statement issued on Tuesday, October 7, the affected areas fall under the uMkhanyakude, uThungulu, iLembe, Zululand, uMgungundlovu, Harry Gwala, uMzinyathi and uThukela districts. 

"The recent data by SA Weather Services indicates that most of the areas that are affected have been constantly receiving less than average rainfall in the past five (5) years. KZN will receive below average rainfall, which has to date affected water levels in various catchments" (IOL/Reuters)

The statement highlighted the following reasons for the concern:

  • Most rivers were not flowing properly with some completely drying.
  • More than 80 percent of boreholes as alternative water sources to (existing) supply had dried up.
  • The agriculture sector had been severely affected. Equally so, communal/farm dams established to cater for the livestock are dry or below expected levels.
  • Most water schemes implemented by municipalities had been severely affected.
  • The dry conditions had increased the province's susceptibility to runaway veldfires, which lead to fatal fire incidents in affected areas.

Featured image: "The bush under a cloudy sky arty" by Steve Slater (CC via Flickr)

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