Picture: for illustration purposes

Overstrand Water Crisis: Storm Aftermath Leaves Hermanus and Kleinmond Facing Drought

Published September 29, 2023
9 months ago

The Overstrand Municipality, best known for its picture-postcard towns such as Greater Hermanus and Kleinmond, is now gripped in a severe water crisis. The crisis stemmed from strong winds and heavy rains that lashed Western Cape over the long weekend, causing extensive damage to the local water infrastructure.

Residents in these areas now see their taps run dry as the culminating effect of the storm has resulted in infrastructure damage that impedes the normal functioning of the water pipeline. The storm washed away significant parts of the pipeline that transport water from the local dam to the water treatment works, Mayor Annelie Rabie informed the residents in Zwelihle, Hermanus. The affected areas are not only limited to Zwelihle but include Fisherhaven, Hawston, Vermont, Onrus, Sandbaai, the CBD, Voelklip, and Hermanus Heights.

Furthermore, relief efforts are underway, including the building of a temporary bridge expected to be completed by Friday afternoon. The bridge, situated at Camphill Farm, is deemed crucial for crossing the river to access the water treatment plant, which previously fell victim to the storm.

The water crisis, however, is not the only consequence of the recent storm. Power outages have been reported across the Overstrand Municipality as the storm damaged electrical infrastructure as well, leaving many communities without electricity.

In addition to these challenges, the authorities have decided to cancel the annual Hermanus Whale Festival, which usually draws thousands of visitors to the town, further marking the severity of the current crisis.

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