KZN welcomes rainfall

2016-01-18 10:39
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Pietermaritzburg - Farmers around KwaZulu-Natal have taken some comfort in the recent rains but an above-average rainfall is still needed to break the drought.

Andy Buchan, president of the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu), said that the recent downpours have offered some relief, but water still needs to be conserved until the next rainy season.

“Although farmers have welcomed the much needed isolated rainfall, it has offered only temporary relief. We still have to practise prudence in the conservation of water as winter lies before us. The drought has not yet broken. We still need a lot more rain and although there has been some heavy isolated rainfall we have not seen any dam-filling,” Buchan said.

Gift of the Givers foundation, which is based in Pietermaritzburg, has made an urgent call for animal feed.

“What is of major concern to us now is the condition of tens of thousands of animals as they are facing thirst and hunger in the absence of feed. Loss of animals is impacting heavily on the farmers, both subsistence and large scale, with major implications for farm labourers, farmers and the general economy,” a statement by the organisation said.

The organisation said that they required protein based pellets (6-8%) which is the appropriate product and costs R5 600 per ton.

Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder said that they would have a clearer idea on Monday as to whether recent heavy rainfalls in the province will have a positive impact on KZN dam levels. Hydrologists are set to measure water levels of dams on Monday.

Last week, water officials warned that rainfall was still below a 20-year average.

Dam levels were as follows: Mearns at 85,83%, Spring Grove at 72,58%, Midmar at 47,22%, Nagle at 88,61%, Albert Falls at 37,87% and Inanda at 80,72%.

Meanwhile, retailer Shoprite has been supplying drought-stricken areas in parts of the country with water.

A truck carrying 24 640 litres of bottled water will be heading to northern KZN early this week.

Feed in kind will be welcomed or cash contributions into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No. 052137228, Branch Code, 057525, reference FEED.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  weather  |  drought  |  water

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