Local rain-watchers measured more than 10mm in and around Makhanda over the past 24 hours and the South African Weather Service (SAWS) recorded 13mm at its Grahamstown station. While 34.6mm measured at Plettenberg Bay, areas most severely affected by the drought received relatively little and Gift of the Givers has gone to Graaff Reinet, where the situation has become desperate.
At Rivendell, west of Makhanda Nick James measured 10.5mm this morning, Monday 30 September. In Town, Jim Cambray measured 11.8mm.
Neighbouring Adelaide, whose supply dam is reduced to a small puddle, received 8mm.
Garth Sampson, Port Elizabeth based Client Liaison Officer for SAWS says while Port Elizabeth airport received only 15.6mm, other areas of Makhanda’s neighbour received above 25mm and between 13mm and 30mm was measured over its main catchment area.
In Plettenberg Bay at 34.6mm and George at 29.4mm were recorded.
However, drought-ravaged Adelaide had 8mm and Graaff Reinet 6.2mm.
REGIONAL RAINFALL SUMMARY FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE
|Nelson Mandela Bay|
|AWOS||Port Elizabeth Airport||15.6|
|ARS||3rd Ave Dip||23.0|
|ARS||Blue Horizon Bay||18.6|
|AWS||Cape St Francis||25.6|
“The public must continue to use water sparingly as the forecast is for below normal rainfall up to December,” Sampson said.
Meanwhile, with the The Nqweba Dam in Graaff Reinet empty and boreholes having run dry, the Gift of the Givers have announced they will be sending three superlink trucks with water, along with three water tankers, a drilling machine and hydrologist Dr Gideon Groenewald, to Graaff Reinet tomorrow, Tuesday, 1 October.
In a media release, Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said, “Intervening in Graaff Reinet is an extension of our major intervention in Eastern Cape. We are currently involved in Adelaide, Bedford, Queenstown, King William’s Town, Nanaga and Makhanda; Butterworth is next.
“Dr Groenewald has a thorough knowledge of the area, having mapped a comprehensive report of groundwater sources in 1999, then commissioned and paid for by Dr Anton Rupert.”
“The main issue of supplying water to all communities is based on a simple reality that too little water reaches the main storage tanks in the lower lying areas to automatically let the booster pumps kick in to pump water to the higher reservoirs, resulting in water always being available in the lower part of the town but leaving people on higher ground completely dry. Most people living on higher ground are the previously disadvantaged,” Dr Sooliman said.
“The solution lies in developing existing or new boreholes, manage known aquifers, supply water at a rate that exceeds water use in low lying areas, allow pumping systems to run effectively and fill high lying reservoirs as a matter of urgency, and drill boreholes directly in high lying areas if the geography allows that. Dr Groenewald will deal with these issues,” Dr Sooliman said.