SOUTH AFRICA IN MIDST OF EPIC DROUGHT
(P1) South Africa is facing its worst DROUGHT since 1982, with more than 2.7 million HOUSEHOLDS facing water SHORTAGES across the country, the government has said.
(P2) Lennox Mabaso, spokesperson for the local government department in KwaZulu-Natal, told Al Jazeera that the drought, CONCENTRATED in the provinces of Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, was beginning to impact LIVELIHOODS and DRAIN the economy.
(P3) “The DAMS are at an ALL-TIME low. This is an EPIC drought and [the] government is doing the best it can do. As you can imagine, it requires a lot of resources, and it’s impacting everyone, rich and poor,” Mabaso said.
(P4) The ministry declared the KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces as DISASTER AREAS and warned that some 6,500 rural communities across four provinces face water shortages.
(P5) South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, has already IMPLEMENTED water restrictions.
(P6) On Wednesday, Reuters news agency, quoting an official, said the drought-hit northern Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces would also be declared disaster areas for agriculture in the coming days, a claim a spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation would not confirm.
(P7) “The provinces of Limpopo and the North-West are currently under observation,” Mlimandlela Ndamase, spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation, said.
(P8) The government has already ALLOCATED $26m to KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to MITIGATE the impact of the drought that has been blamed on the EL NINO weather pattern. El Nino is expected to impact other parts of Southern Africa as well.
(P9) Economist Wandile Sihlobo said that summer CROPS (soybeans, maize, sugarcane) and livestock farming are likely to be HARDEST HIT by the drought, and consumers were likely to see higher food prices for some time to come.
(P10) “The concern now is about the next crop. It’s the OPTIMUM time to plant, but it’s still too dry, and with the failure earlier in the year, farmers are under further strain,” Sihlobo said.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Does the weather in your area ever get extremely dry or extremely wet?
- If you had to cut your water CONSUMPTION, what changes would you make?
- Are food prices in your area STEADY, or have they been increasing?
- South Africa’s national economy is beginning to be negatively affected by the drought. Is the economy in your country improving or declining?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Disaster area
- El Nino
- Hard hit