Say what you want about President Donald Trump’s alleged comments about African countries, but you don’t have to look long and far to see that he was actually on to something. In fact, one city is so bad off, it’s literally running out of water to drink.
In a statement issued Jan. 15, Cape Town, South Africa, Executive Mayor Patricia De Lille announced that the city is less than 90 days from a complete depletion of its water supply — when water taps will be shut off.
“Today I want to call on all Capetonians to do more to save water,” the statement said. “There are only 95 days left before we reach Day Zero. Day Zero has moved a day closer this week to 21 April 2018. Day Zero is when the City will be forced to turn off most of the taps and every resident will have to queue for 25 litres of water per day.”
That’s just awful.
Because of the lack of water, the city has asked its 3.7 million residents to cut their water consumption down by taking shorter showers, by keeping toilet-flushing to a minimum, and to stop washing cars.
It’s so bad though, that De Lille’s statement announced the city will put a “water management device” on the water supply of all households that use more than 10.5 kiloliters per month. That’s the equivalent of about 93 gallons a day. The average American uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
IFL Science points out that this coastal African city has been suffering from a drought for nearly three years now. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there’s a whole lot of rain forecast for the future either.
But there’s a bigger issue at play here than just a drought. Sure, IFL Science wants to jump on the liberal bandwagon and say that we have “climate change” to blame for this crisis.
However, the deep-seated issues can be traced back to a poorly run government.
In an article on the news analysis website The Conversation, Cape Town-based researcher
Olivier writes that while the local government did everything it could to prepare for the drought, it was the national government that, through wasteful spending, put the city at risk.
He writes, “Wasteful expenditure in the national Department of Water and Sanitation, erroneous water allocations to agriculture and a failure to acknowledge or respond to provincial and municipal calls for help obstructed timely interventions. National government’s numerous spanners jammed up the works of a system that could have managed the crisis quite effectively.“
The city government continued to send warnings to the national government before the crisis even happened, yet the national government continued to spurn their warnings, Olivier writes.
So, why didn’t the local government take matters into its own hands? As Olivier points out, “Provinces don’t have the power to make water allocations to agriculture. This is done by the national government.”
Additionally, the city actually implemented water saving plans, yet the national government used too much water in other areas of the country, reducing the amount of water the city could use.
Olivier explains, “Cape Town shows some of the best water-saving levels in the world. But its supply dams are being hit by national government’s bungled water allocations to agriculture.”
So what’s the lesson here? Well, the first lesson is that while this may be considered a “developed” country, the mismanagement of this country’s water supply shows just how poorly run this African country is run.
Maybe President Trump was right all along in his alleged “s***hole” comment. The South African national government is definitely helping prove it.
Second, this is just another example of big government messing things up for the people it governs. While the local government, which is more equipped to handle the situation because it knows what’s going on, warned the national government, the national government continued to make poor decisions.
It’s a lesson we still need to learn here in the U.S.
Less government is always better, regardless of where the country is located.
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