The Department of Water and Sanitation in Kwa-Zulu Natal is set to roll out the Emergency Drought Mitigation Plan in areas affected by drought in the Province.

This comes as Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and her counterpart Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, set clear directives to address drought challenges in a joint Ministers and Members of Executive Councils (MINMEC) Meeting that was held in Johannesburg last week.

The Emergency Drought Mitigation Plan comprises of short, medium and long term interventions designed to mitigate drought effects.

The short term interventions are expected to be implemented over a period of 3 to 6 month, starting in February 2020.

Currently, 256 towns and surrounding communities are reported to be affected by drought.

Hotspot areas identified include the Uthukela, Umzinyathi, Amajuba, Zululand, Uthungulu and Umgungundlovu.

As such, the Department has since set aside approximately R 97 million in the short term for drought intervention in the Province.

Some of the short-term interventions to be implemented will include implementing drought operating rules, groundwater resource development, water tankering from available sources, rainwater harvesting and the protection and use of springs, amongst others.

The Department has already begun providing the necessary support to communities affected through various action programmes.

The New Borehole Programme has identified 1 118 new boreholes, 3 000 water tanks have been made available to provide water to affected communities and there is on-going assessment for the refurbishment of boreholes.

Minister Sisulu has since called on locals to enhance water conservation measures as the provincial dam storage capacity remain below average at 54, 9%.

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