CAPE TOWN, Feb 4 — Queuing day and night for something as simple as water. Cape Town is weeks away from its taps running dry.
“The struggle, the struggle is real,” Cape Town resident, Abubaker Osman, said.
A crisis that is stymying a flow of visitors to this tourism hotspot, and forcing residents to water collection points like this one.
“People have kind of started a frenzy, all the water at the shops are sold out, everyone’s collecting at every spring point possible. And it’s just going crazy at the moment,” Cape Town resident, Seth Wepener, said.
On Thursday (01 February) officials further limited water usage to 50 liters per person per day, around two-thirds of a bathful.
Those stricter restrictions after new data showed the South African city’s dams are now less than a quarter full and April 21, the day experts predict the water will completely run out, is getting closer.
To avoid the queues some Cape Town residents are finding ways to reuse their drain water.
Tour guide Llwellyn Damon has built this water saving system to pump drain water into a tank which is then used to flush the toilet.
“I am disappointed that we are where we are today cause I just feel, yes, you know, those that had to take care of us didn’t actually do their jobs,” Cape Town resident and tourist guide at Robben Island, Llewellyn Damon, said.
But, the crisis is not just affecting locals. Hotels have been asked to tell guests not to use baths and to limit showers to two minutes, and that’s reportedly prompting visitors to cancel their vacations here.
Last year around ten million people visited Cape Town where tourism is a key driver of the economy and employment.
The fear now is that, as the water runs out, so too will tourist dollars. — Reuters