Amongst the strategies laid out by government is to increase potable water supply to Lomahasha, through a joint project with Mozambique.
Government is also planning on maximising on the planned construction of new dams such as the Nondvo Dam and Ethemba to increase national water storage
Rehabilitation and upgrading of major gauging stations and dredging of all major dams is also in the cards.
Government will also promote increased water use monitoring through water meter installation and proper upkeep of rural water supply schemes
Increasing potable water supply through the Siphofaneni, Somntongo and Matsanjeni project (SISOMA) is also on government’s agenda.
STRATEGIES ALREADY IN PLACE:
The ministry working together with other government entities and stakeholders, have already put in place different strategies and interventions to curb the situation.
- The continued drilling of ground water boreholes for water supply in the respective areas
- Imposing strict water rationing in the irrigation sector as well as parts of the urban and rural communities
- Conducting public awareness campaigns
- Engagement of Neighbouring States on the drought situation
- Engagement of the business community on observed water shortages
- Encouraged hydrometric and climatic data sharing amongst stakeholders
- Promoting rain water harvesting measures at all levels
HARDEST HIT AREAS
- Mbabane City
- Sithobela Inkundla
- Lomahasha Inkhundla
- Sigwe Inkhundla
- Lubulini Inkhundla
- Mhlangatane Inkhundla
- Matsanjeni North Inkhundla
- Hlane Inkhundla
- Dvokodvweni Inkhundla
- Nkilongo Inkhundla
- Mpolonjeni Inkhundla
- Lugongolweni Inkhundla
- Somntongo Inkhundla
- Matsanjeni Inkhundla
Meanwhile, Minister Mashwama says the current state of water storage across the country is seriously below the long term averages observed over the past five years.
The situation is as a result of the low river flows due to the lack of sufficient rainfall to recharge our river systems to fill up the dams.
Currently, our four major dams; namely Hawane, Maguga, Mnjoli and Lubovane are recording very low levels of water storage. These dams are currently recording 6 percent, 35 percent, 6 percent and 67 percent, respectively.
She futher said government notes that all the five major river basins of the country have been greatly affected.
“In the Ngwavuma Basin, there is currently no irrigation taking place as the river has since dried up.
“The Mbuluzi, Lusutfu, Lomati and Komati are also quickly following suit.
“While the situation calls for the implementation of robust measures; the ministry is aware of the impact the complete suspension of commercial irrigation in these river systems would have on the national economy and the country’s commitment to international markets.”
The statement reveals that according to Section 39 of the Water Act, 2003 the prevailing situation calls for government to curtail irrigation to reserve the limited water resources to save human life, but the ministry, however, notes that with the water sources having dried up in most of the river basins, there is an urgent need to carefully put in place seeding measures to ensure the sustenance of business and the revival of the economy in the future.
It further states that the ministry of agriculture is giving guidance to the nation on that matter.
Government has called upon all sectors in the society, including the private sector, civil society and individuals to work together and help as we go through this difficult phase.
She stated that the ministry remains committed and open to working with the nation in managing this precious and scarce resource. “Our key focus is on continuing to work with all stakeholders to mitigate the impact of drought on households in both urban and rural communities,” she said.