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Ermelo declared water disaster area

Ermelo water scarcity problemThe Msukaligwa municipality in Mpumalanga has declared the town of Ermelo a disaster area amid a looming water crisis. Mayor Sipho Bongwe says the drop of water levels in the Brummer and Douglas dams is affecting more than 45 000 households. He says the municipality has developed measures to increase water levels in the dams and adjacent reservoirs.

“In the last six or seven weeks, we indicated, as a Municipality, that we are affected with a situation where two of our main dams, which is your Brummer and Douglas Dams that are actually the source of water of our area, particularly your Wesselton and Ermelo, were actually at that point at around 30 t0 35% in terms of capacity. But now what has happened, as we speak, we are lying at around between 10 and 12%,” says Bongwe.

At the opening of the sixth World Water Forum (WWF) in Marseille last year ,French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said that it was unacceptable that billions of people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water. He said the time had come for the international community to tackle the problem.

“The number of people who have no access to clean water is in the millions. Each year, we mourn millions who have died from the health risks this causes. The situation is not acceptable; the world community must rise and tackle it,” Fillon said.

The WWF, held once every three years since 1997, takes place against a backdrop of a world in which an estimated one to four billion people do not have access to good quality drinking water.

According to the World Health Organisation, diseases caused by poor sanitation kill two million people around the globe each year, 90% of them children under five-years-old. One of the forum’s focus areas was Africa, where an estimated 350 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, and 450 million are without sanitation.

Source: SABC News

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