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Limpopo water shortage worsens as drought conditions continue

Written by Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Limpopo residents are hard hit by the drought, as their situation continues to get worse. Residents of Madobi village, near Makhado, are now struggling to get drinking water as many of the boreholes in the area have dried up.

Madobi village is just one of the villages in Vhembe region that have been hard hit by the continuing drought conditions in the area.

“This is the worst time for us. Our rivers and boreholes are dry, and we are struggling to get water to drink. It is so painful. We used to get water from the local boreholes but now they have also gone dry,” said Themba Mabunda, a resident of Madobi village.

“Now it takes us the whole day for the borehole to fill up a single container of water. This means that we are forced to recycle water for various uses,” he said.

Disaster area

Limpopo province was declared a disaster area last year due to the continuous drought in the area. According to the local residents, this is the worst drought they have experienced in the area since 1983.

“We sometimes go for days without bathing as we try to preserve the little water we have for drinking and cooking. It is not healthy. If it does not rain in the coming weeks, I do not think we are going to survive this time around. This drought has gone for too long now,” said Mavis Chauke, another resident of Madobi who feels quite desperate.

We sometimes go for days without bathing as we try to preserve the little water we have for drinking and cooking. It is not healthy.

In 2015 OurHealth reported that the drought in the Limpopo province was also negatively affecting local farmers. Currently the only source of water in the village is containers of water that have to be bought from other nearby villages. One container of water costs roughly R3, which is unaffordable for some of the residents.

The spokesperson for the Vhembe District Municipality, Matodzi Ralushai said “We are doing all we can to make sure that we provide drinking water to all our residents, as we care about them. I can assure you that currently we are trying to fix all the boreholes around some of the villages in the Vhembe area – and Madobi village is among them.”

About the author

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho is citizen journalist who is based in the Vhembe District of Limpopo province. He joined OurHealth in 2015 and his interests lie in investigative journalism and reporting the untold stories of disadvantaged rural communities. Ndivhuwo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Venda and he is currently a registered student with UNISA.