THE DROUGHT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

All indications are that large parts of South Africa, among them the Madibeng Local Municipality geographical area, are faced with the prospects of a drought, severe or otherwise.

Experts have warned the authorities at national level as early as the year 2007 about forward-planning in terms of the very likely event of severe dry conditions.

Never mind the recent late rains, the threat of a drought is still very much evident, with likely rippling effects for locals such as village subsistence farmers dependent on boreholes.

An independent research has established that underground water levels in the broader Madibeng area have declined by 25%.

To the naked eye this may look like one of those boring statistics but, be warned, the percentage means it is going to cost much more money to reach underground water levels, going forward.

Just imagine to what percentage the underground water levels would have plunged to, in the next 10 or 20 years?

With steady numbers of economic migrants arriving in Brits, against the backdrop of the ongoing water supply shortages, there is a real possibility of even more people considering the borehole as an alternative source of water.

The latter scenario is calculated to almost deplete the available underground water even further, with the 25% situation likely to worsen.

While on the subject of depleted underground water levels, in Jericho the borehole system which supplied locals with sufficient drinkable water, has since collapsed.

The local Makarapa Community Forum leapt onto centre stage, exploring mechanisms outside of the municipality to make water available to the community.

The crumbling borehole system has since been restored, with water presently reaching some of the sections in the village.

North West Premier Supra Mahunapelo has since been roped in to intervene.

Madibeng Municipal Stakeholder Manager, Lucky Fourie, is on record explaining that the reason for taps running dry in the Letlhabile sections of Centreville and Mshaya, was because the reservoir levels were low.

The solution for now, he suggested, was to nudge the community into using water sparingly.