Volunteers give out water as regional drought hits S Africa

Volunteers distribute water to arid South African towns as they are hit by regional drought

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Factory workers in Benoni on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa pile up donated water bottles by residents to be delivered in drought stricken rural communities on January 15, 2016

In eastern Johannesburg, volunteers carried thousands of litres of water into a truck in order to distribute water to South Africa’s arid towns as part of a volunteer campaign.

The regional drought hitting South Africa, which was brought on by the El Nino weather phenomenon, is now in its second year. El Nino has brought in high temperatures along with wild heat waves.

In the days to come, the Washington-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is expected to announce 2015 as the hottest year on record worldwide.

On one Tuesday last October, 18 weather stations across South Africa recorded a new monthly rises in temperature, which were all above 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit).

However at the beginning of January, both Johannesburg and Pretoria reached all-time record highs with 38 and 42.5 degrees Celsius.

"The abnormally high temperatures and low rainfall during 2015 are a combination of a natural effect, which is the El Nino phenomenon, and the rising baseline caused by human-caused global climate change," said Robert Scholes, systems ecology professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

 "At this stage, they approximately equally contribute to the observed high temperatures," said Scholes.

The South African Weather Service announced 2015 to be the driest year since records began in 1904.

Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO of the Water Research Commission said, "We have made exactly the right kinds of starts that we need to secure our water future.''

TRTWorld and agencies