Ongoing drought conditions in the Eastern Cape has resulted in the Howieson’s Poort and Settlers dams becoming dysfunctional, with the Makhanda Municipality, formerly known as Grahamstown, no longer able to extract water from either. 

The two dams supply the western side of the town, with the Howieson’s Poort sitting at 11,2 percent and the Settlers Dam at 6,3 percent.  

Makana municipality spokesperson, Yoliswa Ramokolo said that three boreholes were connected to the Waainek Water Treatment Works which can produce a maximum of 0,5 Mℓ a day. The balance of water for the western side is being supplied by the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works (JKWTW). 

“This means that the JKWTW is now supplying water to both Makhanda East and West. To ensure that all residents have some water under these circumstances, the system is required to be managed in such a way that low water pressure as well as intermittent supply will be experienced in some instances.” 

Ramokolo said the situation would be ongoing until such time the municipality could again pump from the Howieson’s Poort and Settlers dams. 

“We can only start pumping from these dams once it rains and dam level at HP has recovered enough to start the pump.” 

Residents were urged to cut water usage to 25 litres per person per day to a maximum of 100 litres per household. 

-ANA, editing by Lindiz van Zilla