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‘Dire’ water shortages in S. Africa’s Port Elizabeth

Residents of South African coastal city Port Elizabeth face water rationing and deliveries by tanker after a long drought sapped reservoirs, local authorities and the Red Cross said.

“The current drought situation and a poor forecast for rain over the next three months has put communities in the Nelson Mandela metro in a dire situation as water reservoirs run dry,” the humanitarian organisation said in a statement Thursday.

Water levels at dams around the Nelson Mandela Bay area that includes industrial hub Port Elizabeth have fallen as low as 20 percent.

“Day Zero has hit us and what that means is that we currently cannot keep up with the demand,” the city’s infrastructure and engineering head Mongameli Bobani had tweeted Wednesday.

With local government rationing supply, the Red Cross has called for water donations to help residents through the shortages, which have been making themselves felt over the past two weeks.