Swift Action on the Water Front


The dry Gamka Dam ( Photo Hennie Smit)

It has rained in Beaufort West, but there is still no water in the Gamka Dam.   It dried up in September, 2010.   Worse followed. The water table dropped and the 30 boreholes which were also used to supply water to the town soon also dried. The drought reached a critical point in November when Beaufort West municipality was forced to implement a scheduled water distribution system  which left parts of the town without water for up to two days at a time.

According to an SABC News report on November 27, 2010, Hein Rust, the District Head of Disaster Management,  said the municipality had no alternative.  It was forced into action by rapidly declining underground water tables. Certain parts of the town are without water for up to 36 hours at a time, but tankers are strategically placed to provide clean drinking water.  Press appeals to all who passed to bring a “bottle for Beaufort” saw thousands of litres of bottled water being delivered to the town. Beaufort Westers were amazed at the reaction across South Africa as the public opened its heart to the town’s plight.  Drop off points were organised by many businesses and companies with trucks plying the busy N1 picked up hundreds of bottles from these points for delivery to the drought -stricken town.


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