Finally Rain

Since my last post providing an update on the water crisis we have had loads of rain.  There was a decent rainfall on Monday night with a noticeable increase in the volume of our tank.  Then last night the rain came down hard.  There is a news report showing that in the 24 h till 8 am this morning the local area got between 18 – 30 mm of rain.

It started raining about 3:30 this morning.  The rain fell so hard it woke me up and I struggled to get back to sleep.  One of our neighbors had to pump water out of his garage.  My sister’s husband reported that their dog’s bowls had floated down their garden.  You will have to look closely but you can see tidemarks on the wall.

Cape Town rains

While all this rain is a welcome relief and was badly needed such a heavy downpour does have it’s downside.  One problem is that where plant life has struggled due to a lack of water there would have been soil erosion.  An example of this is a patch of grass near where I live.  Naturally watering grass was one of the first casualties when water restrictions were introduced and a green field has steadily turned brown.  So a lot of soil has been washed into the road.

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The biggest irony is that we have moved from one disaster to another.  According to a local news website 2000 people and 578 structures have been affected.  Sadly many of these will be the poorest communities, those people living in informal structures, in an area known as the Cape flats.  Many of these communities do not have running water and have to collect water from a communal tap. Some members of this community were scathing towards the wealthier communities getting stressed out by day zero.  Day zero is their reality 365 days a year.

Having said that improved rainfall should help the farmers and that is also good news for many poor people.  Low rainfall means, poor harvests, increased food prices and fewer jobs.

Overall the rain is good news for South Africa and I think heavy rain is required in order for the water to find its way to the dams.  It is unfortunate that it means misery for some.