Imvula! Mayine! One may think the hot temperature they are experiencing is typical of Spring and Summer but it is not so, most of South Africa is going through drought. “The only areas where there are not problems are the Eastern and Southern Cape. There are severe problems in Mpumalanga, KZN, most of the Free State, parts of Limpopo and parts of North West,” says Johan van den Berg, Santam agriculture manager: specialised crop insurance. “The northern parts of the Northern Cape are also suffering severer and in some parts of the Kalahari, north of Upington, rain last occurred more than 18 months ago.” South African Weather Services calls it El Nino: a deviations from normal surface temperatures that can have large-scale impacts not only on ocean processes, but also on global weather and climate.
You may not be have any water shortages or water pressure issues in your corner of the world but your pocket will soon feel it. The agricultural sector is hard hit; cattle dying due to lack of grazing grass and water. Farmers say that crops like maize and sorghum as well as sunflower are expected to have a low yield. This means the prices of grain, chicken, oil, maize and dairy product will be on the rise. Couple this with a weak rand it translates to inflation in prices. Low income earners that use subsistence farming to supplement their income and ensure food security, are reported to already be struggling.
What do we do? Taking shorter showers and turning off the water when one is brushing their teeth may help ease the burden on reservoirs. Use grey water (used water) to irrigate your garden and do it late in the afternoon. Mines should start using recycled water for their operations instead of drinking water. All these are great for mitigation, but how do we ensure rainfall? Looks to me like we need a supernatural intervention. Perhaps with little bit rainwater we have we must brew umqombothi and call on Nomkhubulwane and Queen Modjadji to intercede on our behalf. Like they did in ancient times we, the children of this land must choose a day and time when with one heart and mind we will dance for the rain to fall. Mayine! Imvula!