Drought-hit Swazi­land im­poses four-day water cuts

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

MBABANE — Drought-stricken Swazi­land on Thurs­day said it would be­gin sever water ra­tioning in the cap­i­tal Mbabane af­ter lev­els in the main dam sup­ply­ing the city fell to a crit­i­cal low.

Swazi­land Water Ser­vices Cor­po­ra­tion (SWSC) said the re­stric­tions would be­gin on Fri­day and prob­a­bly last un­til the ar­rival of sum­mer rains ex­pected around Oc­to­ber.

Un­der the mea­sure, there will be no mains water for four days a week. Res­i­dents will col­lect water from mo­bile tanks in­stead.

“This is be­cause of the dire drought sit­u­a­tion which has de­creased water lev­els at the Hawane Dam,” said SWSC spokesper­son Nom­ahlubi Mati­wane.

She said water lev­els in the dam had dropped from 15 per­cent of ca­pac­ity in the last few weeks to just nine per­cent.

Swazi­land is one of a num­ber of coun­tries in south­ern Africa that have been badly hit by El Nino — a weather phe­nom­e­non that is cen­tred on the coun­tries in the Pa­cific but can af­fect other re­gions as well.

In Fe­bru­ary, dry con­di­tions grip­ping the agri­cul­tural sec­tor prompted the govern­ment to de­clare a state of emer­gency.

Water re­sources in the im­pov­er­ished coun­try of 1.2 mil­lion peo­ple have more than halved, con­tribut­ing to higher food prices and poor crops.

Last month aid or­gan­i­sa­tions es­ti­mated that El Nino had af­fected 12.3 mil­lion peo­ple across south­ern Africa. — AFP

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