After the city of Cape Town in 2018, the metropolis of Nelson Mandela Bay, in South Africa, lives under the threat of “Day Zero” : the day when there will be no more water at the tap. Hit by drought for six years, the municipality, which notably includes Gqeberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth, the fifth largest city in the country, sees the wall getting dangerously close: the dams could be dry in a few days. In an emergency, the authorities are trying to postpone the deadline, but many voices are raised to criticize the disastrous management of local officials in the face of a foreseeable disaster.
“Hospitals are in trouble, psychiatric institutes, nursing homes and schools are going to have problems. A dam is already empty and a second has only a few days left in it”, alert Imtiaz Sooliman, interviewed by the weekly Mail & Guardian. At the head of the very active South African non-profit organization Gift of the GiversImtiaz Sooliman and his teams arrived in the metropolis of the Eastern Cape province, in the south-east of the country, to urgently dig boreholes while shortages are already affecting certain disadvantaged neighborhoods, the most exposed to lack of water.
According to News24, the reserves of two of the five dams that supply this metropolis of 1.2 million inhabitants have less than six days of reserve ahead of them. At the origin of the phenomenon, a drought linked to climate change which has hit the region for several years, while the neighboring region of Kwazulu-Natal suffered devastating floods last April. “Weather experts expect the level of rain to marginalize