Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu said the severe drought in the Eastern Cape needed urgent government intervention.

Sisulu visited the province with deputy David Mahlobo on Monday to assess the situation, which she said had deteriorated.

Sisulu travelled to some of the areas worst hit by the drought in the province. One such area is Butterworth, where Sisulu said the taps had literally run dry.

“The most affected areas are the ones in Butterworth. The water source is contaminated, and the water needs to be cleaned.”

Other towns that ran dry include Makhanda, as well as Peddie, which have been on “day zero” for months.

Residents of Butterworth in the Eastern Cape are desperately waiting for water that was released from the Wriggleswade Dam to provide them with some respite from a lengthy drought that is showing no signs of ending.

The water was released from the dam earlier this month and it was estimated that it would take about two weeks to reach Kei Bridge.

Department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said boreholes had been sunk but even the groundwater was becoming scarce.

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