Drought warning as dam levels decline in Cape Town, South Africa #Drought #Dam #CapeTown #SouthAfrica
CAPE Town’s dam levels have declined by 0.6%, according to readings from earlier this month.
This was recorded over the week from May 4-10 and resulted in 54.3% of total dam level capacity.
Water consumption for the period increased to 676 million litres per day.
Consumption was at 662 million litres per day, in the previous week, the City said.
Two years ago the City of Cape Town experienced the Day Zero water crisis.
Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said although the bulk of the region’s rainfall traditionally falls between May and June, rainfall in 2020 to date was lower than the long-term average between January and April.
Water consumption is well below the long-term average, so low rainfall was not a significant cause for concern, she said.
“The possibility that the drought may not be over does warrant a reminder that we need to remain aware of water restrictions.
“Reacting quickly and effectively to changes in water restrictions is the most important intervention during drought periods,” said Limberg.
She told Weekend Argus that Cape Town pulled off a world record-breaking drought response, in its reduction in water consumption and many of these changes have been permanent.
“Through efforts by residents to reduce water consumption, a range of interventions by the City administration (including intensive pressure management, restructuring of water tariffs and water augmentation projects), we pulled through the worst of it without ever having to turn off taps and implement the Day Zero scenario,” she said.
Residents reduced consumption by almost 60% in world record-breaking time, resulting in the city being formally acknowledged by the International Water Association, said Limberg.
The city was recognised as the global “Water Saving Capital” by the International Water Association in 2018.
There was a decline in water consumption when looking back over the previous 1-2 months.
Water consumption normally goes down in winter and up in summer, so a drop in consumption over April/May is to be expected, added Limberg.
Jo Barnes, an epidemiologist and senior lecturer at the Stellenbosch University’s faculty of health sciences, said water use would vary depending on many factors.
“Weather plays a role (unexpectedly hot weather tends to cause higher water use). It is a lockdown week, so very few industries were in full operation so much less water would have been used.”
There was also 13mm of rain recorded which reduced consumption towards the end of last week.
Jacqueline Goldin, the Unesco chairperson for groundwater at UWC, said climate change has not mobilised the world in a way that the coronavirus has, but it should have.
“We should have a solidarity fund, a climate change command officer, policing and coming together as a globe to reduce our carbon footprint, save water and save our planet,” said Goldin.
Courtesy of iol.co.za
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that almost 150,000 people have been affected by flooding and heavy rain in Yemen since mid-April.
Flooding has damaged roads, bridges and the electricity grid, and contaminated water supplies, cutting access to basic services for thousands of people. In Aden, power cuts have continued since the floods of 21 April.
OCHA said an estimated 21,240 families (148,680 people) have been affected by flooding in 13 governorates since mid-April, including 6,286 families in Marib Governorate, 9,146 families in Sana’a and northern governorates, and 5,130 families in Hajjah Governorate.
Conditions are hardest for thousands of families already displaced who have lost shelter, food rations and household supplies. An estimated 4,764 households have been affected in Internally displaced people (IDPs) sites in southern governorates, including 1,812 families in Aden, 1,037 in Abyan, 917 in Taizz and 770 in Lahj governorates.
OCHA said there is heightened risk of diseases such as malaria and cholera. Already, more than 110,000 cases of suspected cholera have been recorded across 290 of Yemen’s 333 districts since January this year, with growing fears that the number of cases will spiral.
More heavy rains and thunderstorms are expected in the east and parts of the western coast, as well as in desert areas in Marib, Al Jawf, and Shabwah governorates.
Courtesy of floodlist.com
The UN says thousands of people are forced to sleep outside and are without clean drinking water after ongoing floods damaged homes and water points in the Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville).
According to a recent report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), flooding that began in OCtober this year has now affected 8 of the 12 departments in the Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville).
The departments affected are Likouala, Cuvette, Plateaux, Sengha, Kouilou, Niari, Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.
At least 170,000 people have now been affected by floods in Likouala, Cuvette and Plateaux departments alone. The government declared a state of natural disaster and humanitarian emergency in the 3 departments on 19 November 2019.
Flooding was caused by the overflow of the Oubangui and Congo rivers. Hundreds of villages along the river have been affected, many of which are completely submerged. Flooding has damaged infrastructure and impeded access to food, water, education and health care. Homes, schools and health centres in affected areas are flooded and only accessible by boat.
UN OCHA said “most water points and sanitation facilities are no longer functioning. Affected communities do not have access to safe drinking water, and hygiene and sanitation products are scarce, exacerbating the risks of contamination and epidemics caused by water and mosquitoes (typhoid, cholera, malaria).
“The floods destroyed or damaged many houses in affected areas and most families sleep outside. These people need emergency shelter, insulation and essential non-food items (jerry cans, treated mosquito nets, mats, etc.).
“Significant crop and livestock losses have also been reported. Half of the crop areas are flooded, and unharvested production destroyed, including cassava fields, a staple food. The next harvest will not take place until the last quarter of 2020. Losses are also significant in the breeding and fishing sectors. Food reserves are already quickly running out.”
The UN recently reported that flooding in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo has affected around 600,000 people. Along Congo Brazzaville’s northern border, parts of Central African Republic have also been affected during the same period.
Courtesy of floodlist.com
Aftermath of a landslide in Limon Indanza Canton, Morona Santiago Province, Ecuador, November 2018. Photo: Risk Management Secretariat
Heavy rainfall in south east Ecuador has caused flooding and landslides in Morona-Santiago Province.
According to Ecuador’s National Risk and Emergency Management Service (SNGRE), the worst affected area is the canton of Limón Indanza Canton after heavy rain from 08 December, 2019.
Houses were destroyed by landslides or swept away by flash flooding, according to local media reports . At least one person died when a landslide buried a home. More are feared missing and search operations are ongoing, according to SNGRE. Drinking water supply was interrupted for several days.
At least 9 people died in landslides in Limón Indanza Canton, Morona-Santiago Province in November last year .
Courtesy of floodlist.com
A building is almost entirely submerged in water in the Cité Kolongo neighborhood of Bangui in the Central African Republic. Photo: Itunu Kuku/NRC
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reports that flooding has affected thousands of people in the provinces of Haut-Uélé and Tshopo in the north of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Meanwhile ongoing floods in neighbouring Central African Republic have destroyed 10,000 homes and affected almost 60,000 people, according to Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
According to UN OCHA, 18,000 people have been displaced by flooding in 45 villages in Isangi Territory, Tshopo Province. Isangi is located at the confluence of the Lomami and Congo rivers. Flooding has affected the territory since late October. The UN says no humanitarian relief has been provided to victims, who, according to local authorities, are in dire need for shelter, health and essential household items, as well as clean water and sanitation.
Meanwhile more than 10,600 people in Dungu and Niangara in Haut-Uélé Province are also in dire need of humanitarian support. Recent flooding in the two territories has destroyed shelters, health facilities and schools. Crops have also been damaged. Niangara is situated directly on the Uele river. Dungu is located at the confluence of the Dungu and Kibali Rivers where they join to form the Uele River.
Around 40,000 people have been displaced by flooding along the Ubangi River in the northern provinces of Sud-Ubangi and Nord-Ubangi. Flooding began in October after a period of heavy rain caused the Ubangi River to break its banks.
In neighbouring Central African Republic, ongoing floods that also began in late October have destroyed more than 10,000 homes and has impacted at least 57,000 people, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Country Director for the NRC, David Manan, said “Thousands of homes have been destroyed, and this disaster is affecting many people who were already struggling to make ends meet. The flooding is so severe in some parts of the capital Bangui that the only way to get around is by canoe.”
The government has declared a natural catastrophe and is appealing for national and international solidarity to support its emergency response efforts.
“People are currently living in overcrowded displacement sites as they seek protection from the rain. There is an urgent need for clean drinking water, mosquito nets and materials to set up temporary shelters to ensure people are kept healthy and safe,” said Manan.
“Stagnant water left by floods are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. We fear there could be a rise in the number of people affected by malaria and an outbreak of waterborne diseases like cholera if emergency assistance isn’t received in time,” he added.
Courtesy of floodlist.com
Floods in Golestan, Iran, November 2019. Photo: IRCS
At least 2 people have died in floods in Iran over the last few days. One person is still missing.
Heavy rain over the last few days has affected northern areas of the country, with flooding reported in the provinces of Golestan, Mazanderan, Semnan, North Khorasan, South Khorasan and Razavi Khorasan.
Roads have been cut and schools closed. Flooding has caused severe damage to farmland. Water supply has been interrupted in some flood-hit areas.
Radio Farda, quoting Iran Red Crescent Society (IRCS) sources, reported that 2 people died as a result of flooding in Torbat Jam in Razavi Khorasan Province. One person is reportedly missing in Mazanderan Province.
Courtesy of floodlist.com/