The scourge of drought.......haven't the authorities learnt anything since 1982?

2015-11-15 11:23

We have to do better

I pen these thoughts on the eve of my 63rd birthday and I recall many critical issues that affected all South Africans. I lenbave the terrible odium of international terrorist outrage, the recent one on Friday the 13th in Paris to others for there is a far more life threatening terrorism in the form of the current drought in South Africa that occupies my concerns.

I recall the terrible drought of 1982-3 when water laden tankers cris-crossed the suburbs of Durban sharing and distributing this precious resource.

I thought that by now we, especially the authorities, would have learnt lessons and put plans in place to avoid yet another hovering crisis that is going to affect lives,jobs and the economy, the later which is in life support in any case.

Its the drought that terrifies me, much more than load shedding or outbreak of xenophobia or crime both of which could, in any case be the cumulative result of drought induced civil war in its incubation phase in case anyone is taking note.

The drought is making things worse and worse for everyone and the final knock-on effect to the poor will be the most severe.

Opposition political parties jump on the bandwagon hoping to exact some sort of political advantage out of this, and blame the government for lack of planning.

You have heard it all…………..It is all so predictable! But now I ask myself,  looking at the skies overhead, pregnant with cloud bearing rain, and looking fleetingly at  photos in the press and the news clips on TV showing dry dams with caked mud which has come from silting up over the years and resulting in reduced holding capacity of the dams, I wonder why is there no plan in place, and no action being taken, at this most opportune time of all, to clear those millions of tons of silt from the dams so that when the rains do come, as they will, our daYms will have a far greater carrying capacity? Where are all the bulldozers scrapping out the dams and depositing that fertile earth on the farmlands? Has this not occurred to our water providers or the government or the provincial  authorities or the municipalities? Is this not a dereliction of their duties and a perfect example of the lack of planning and action at this critical moment?

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