#EveryDropCounts: Drought officially declared a national disaster
Cape Town – The drought that has gripped the Western Cape and other provinces has officially been declared a national disaster.
"Today we are announcing the declaration of the drought as a national state of disaster," the task team said.
"The drought in South Africa is, in some provinces, showing no signs of abatement.
"Three provinces which are extremely affected – Western Cape, some parts of the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provinces are not yet showing comforting signs of improvement.
It was crucial to "adopt integrated planning and coordinated implementation to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the overall drought response effort", the task team said, and in this regard, the National Joint Drought Coordinating Committee (NJDCC), convened by the National Disaster Management Centre was established to "provide the technical platform for cooperative governance by providing a forum for coordination and management of the drought by a wide range of stakeholders".
The National Joint Drought Coordination Committee (NJDCC) will meet monthly and continue coordinating integrated multi-sectoral intervention measures to address the drought situation in the affected provinces.
The development of an integrated water conservation model will be pursued through multi-sectoral engagements under the suspices of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Drought and Water Scarcity.
National and provincial government will continue to work with municipalities to respond effectively to the water crisis.
We will continue with the implementation of the “War on Leaks” programme where communities report all the water leaks.
The task team reiterated that South Africa is a water scarce country and that the effects of climate change should not be overlooked.