Free State water shortage intensifies

Jeanette Chabalala, News24

Bloemfontein - As the water crisis in the county worsens, the Free State province has resorted to drawing water from its second source, the Caledon River.

But according to Mohokare local municipality there are fears that that too may soon run dry.

Spokesperson for the municipality Lehlohonolo Mafatman said they had a water shortage problem since October 29 when the Smithfield dam went dry.

“We are currently drawing water from our second water source... Caledon River, which will soon dry out from the lack of rain,” he said in a statement.

However, Mafatman said they were participating in a joint project with the Department of Water and Sanitation, which will enable the municipality to draw water from boreholes.

“Currently some of the residents are still receiving water from their taps,” he said.

The municipality was also providing those without water with tanks, said Mafatman.

He said they had also received help from private companies and farmers, who offered to assist schools and hospitals with water.

So far, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State provinces have been declared drought disaster areas.

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane earlier this month said the drought currently affected some 173 of the 1 628 water supply schemes nationally, serving approximately 2.7 million households.

Mokonyane added that in badly affected areas such as the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, southern parts of Mpumalanga, and parts of Limpopo, North West and the Northern Cape, about 50% of local water storage was problematic and could become critical if not managed carefully.

News 24