North West declared drought area

The North West has been declared drought-stricken under the Disaster Management Act.

North West Premier Thandi Modise published the declaration in the provincial extraordinary gazette of September 5, spokesman Lesiba Kgwele said today.

A drought response task team had been established. It consisted of government departments, organised agriculture, and all municipalities in the province.

The departments on the task team were local government and traditional affairs, agriculture and rural development, water affairs, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, and social development.

The declaration was preceded by an application for classification to the National Disaster Management Centre and the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries department, said Kgwele.

He said the department conducted drought verification between July 9 and August 12.

As part of a drought emergency relief assessment, it processed more than 19 000 applications for financial assistance from commercial and subsistence farmers.

It was hoped the assessment and consolidation would be finished by Friday.

“Urgent interventions are also being considered to alleviate water shortages in Mamusa and Greater Taung local municipalities, which have resorted to tankering drinking water to communities as the Mamusa Dam has virtually run dry,” said Kgwele.

He said Modise shared provincial disaster management authorities’ concern that fish killed by lack of water in the dam would create a health hazard during the rainy season.

“The Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati district municipality is reportedly tankering water to 50 000 households across villages within its jurisdiction,” said Kgwele.

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