Senekal farmers fear boreholes might run dry

2016-01-08 16:45
A truck delivering water to Senekal residents (Jeanette Chabala, News24)

A truck delivering water to Senekal residents (Jeanette Chabala, News24)

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Bloemfontein – Free State farmers helping Senekal residents with water are worried their boreholes might soon run dry.  

At least 12 farmers had been selling water to the Setsoto local municipality for 15c a litre since December, but this might soon stop, Senekal Agricultural Union chairperson Rita Erasmus said on Friday.

The water level of the boreholes was dropping and in order not to exhaust them, some farmers were limiting their supply to 30 000 litres per week.

One farmer's borehole had already run dry.

Erasmus recounted how the drought had badly affected her farm in Biddulphsberg. It had been the worst drought since 1932, she said.

She had resorted to buying animal feed in the Western Cape; however transport had become an issue.

"If it doesn't rain before March, then we don’t know what is going to happen to us. This year we haven’t planted any crops and that means we might soon start importing maize from other countries," she said.

Senekal residents started experiencing the full might of the drought from December. More than 260 000 litres of water a day, or 50 litres per household, were being sent to the town.

The Senekal Business Forum had donated four Jojo water tanks – one each for the retirement village, fuel station, youth centre, and the prison.

The defence force in Bethlehem had supplied a 20 000 litre tanker to help transport water.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  drought

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