02212018Wed
Last updateWed, 10 May 2017 2pm

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Health

Dry spell sweeping through the country

Some parts of northern Swaziland are already painting a gloomy picture. Big rivers like Phophonyane and Mlumati have become streams. A question that comes to mind is how long the region will assist its people make a living during these difficult times.

Environmentalists owe society an explanation on what happened to reptiles. The sorry sight has seen dams becoming small ponds, there is no glimmer of hope that things will get better anytime soon. Rivers like Komati River and Mlumati were known to be home to most feared animals like crocodiles and hippopotamus. There were signs erected next to these rivers warning people to be on the look-out of these creatures.

Mlumati River was once regarded as crocodile infested river, it was no shock that just before Ngonini Farm Estate there were reports that the owners of the farm placed a safe meant at preventing unwanted objects to find its way to their canal.        

A stroll around the capital has become a sea of green, following a number water tanks have been placed in every corner of the capital city so that tenants of major outlets can have running water to allow locals to be able to answer the call of nature should one feel pressed. Schools have also become deserted zoos.

School gardening projects have become a sorry site and only those schools that have means of drilling boreholes have managed to have water for their learners at the different schools. At one stage tempers when some sectors of society felt the absence of water was not going to create an enabling environment to improve the culture of teaching and learning. 

Donor organisations have come to the rescue of some schools when they donated water tanks. Major sugar mills have also pledged to assist to fill up their tanks with water in some communities. Livestock have died in their thousands and some in a bid to steal hunger away led some cows to eat thatched huts to try and fill up their stomachs.

School going children have become a common sight along roads leading to major sugar mills where they will pick sugar cane dropping from trucks going to the sugar mills. Estimates from the National Disaster Management Agency have indicated that by the end of the year the figure will have reached half a million.

Boreholes were drilled in most parts of the country; some reports have emerged that a number of those boreholes have dried up due as a result that the water table has dried up. One farmer from Ekupheleni west of Mbabane recently said four boreholes have dried up on his farm. Hardware stores are currently making through selling of water tanks.          

As if that is not enough, even areas that were not affected by the dry spell have been reported added to the statistics of areas in dire need of water. Southern part of the country once boosted of enough water underneath. Latest reports have come to the fore that has indicated that Hlatikhulu Dam was at 20 percent of its capacity. Just down the slope at the Ezulwini valley, water levels drastically dropped. Dams like Mnjoli Dam which was once regarded as one of the dams that was not greatly affected. Hawane Dam will run dry should the dry spell persist until the end of the current month. Swaziland Water Services Corporation (SWSC) once indicated that they will be forced to consider using trucks to bring water closer to places like Mbabane where the situation is very serious. Drying up of major rivers led Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) to suspend hydro-power generation.  

Residents of areas from some of the northern Hhohho indicated that their plight was never into consideration at first by agents tasked with distributing food parcels to drought affected areas. It was almost every part of the country has been greatly affected. They felt neglected but such allegations were scoffed at by communications officer Setsabile Sibisi recently made a passionate plea in an interview with state broadcaster to be patient with her organisation that they started with worst affected areas.