dam levels drop

Kouga Dam

Water drive to avoid ‘Day Zero’ in drought-stricken Eastern Cape

The Kouga Municipality together with the Kouga Business Forum (KBF) has started a water drive to assist communities in Hankie and Patensie.

dam levels drop

Kouga Dam

The Kouga Municipality together with the Kouga Business Forum (KBF), has started a water drive to aid the drought-stricken communities of Hankey and Patensie in the Eastern Cape.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said in a statement that the towns of Hankey and Patensie has been hardest hit.

“The Kouga municipal region is in the grips of a devastating drought. The towns of Hankey and Patensie have been hit the hardest as they depend completely on the Kouga Dam for potable water.”

The dam level dropped to below 5% this week, with no significant rainfall predicted for the catchment area over the next few months. 


In a bid to delay Day Zero for the area Hendricks said water rationing has been in effect since August 2018. 

“The water is shut down for six hours per day, from 09:00 to 15:00. Residents are encouraged to make use of water from the tanks that have been installed in the area to relieve the pressure on the dam. The aim is to make the supply last for as long as possible.”

The Mayor added that it’s been very hard for affected communities.

“There are households in Hankey and Patensie where very little to no tap water has been available, even during the advertised hours, because the water is extracted from the pipes faster than they can fill up when the supply is turned on.”

He appealed to all residents and businesses to use water only when necessary and to use as little as possible.

“Please limit your usage to 50l per person per day,” he said.


Hendrick said the municipality and Kouga Business Forum (KBF) has established drop-off points across the region for 5-liter bottled water.

“Even just a single bottle of water will help the communities of Hankey and Patensie delay Day Zero, the day when they will run out of water.”

According to Hendricks, Day Zero is set for June 1, should there be no significant rainfall very soon.

Kouga Business Forum (KBF) Administrator Leilani Coetsee appealed to all business to donate water.

“Water is arguably the most important commodity on the planet at the moment. As important as any metal and energy are to the planet, none of them matter without water. We, as the Kouga Business Forum, are pleading to every business owner to not waste water as we are in a severe drought-stricken area. Educate your employees in ways to use water sparingly. The KBF also request that each business try and donate water to this worthy cause.”

READ: As taps run dry, water consumption still too high in drought-stricken NMB