(Cover photo source: City of Cape Town official Facebook page)
Water scarcity is a reality that most of the world needs to take note of. This is but one of the examples of what happens when humanity is careless with our common home. The rapid growth in population and development in industry has proven to be unsustainable. The Capetonian water crisis has seen the South African government express great concern as to how this is likely to affect not only Cape Town but the rest of the country. The nature of the crisis is of such gravity that Capetonians now anticipate in agony the dreaded day Zero, where they may find themselves without any water. Status quo dictates that there be limited water supply in all areas in Cape Town, which has proven to not be beneficial to local business, schools, hospitals and other entities which rely heavily on water to operate.
On a basic level, however, the effect that the water crisis has had on residents is the most alarming. Many have had to make do with water cuts and heighted water bills in a city that is already quite expensive to live in. Moreover, this has meant that for the poor, a necessity has become harder to access and is yet another burden for them to bare as a price for their poverty. This is ever more difficult when the price of bottled water is also increased because of the demand being heightened.
The unfortunate nature of this crisis is that it dictates the way the city is to be run. It is likely to result in retrenchments and the closing down of affected business which can only work to worsen the situation. The most affected persons in this crisis will be those who will be unable to afford to pay for water supply especially from private supplier who are likely to exploit the opportunity of being the biggest water suppliers in that space.
The onus of finding a fitting solution to the crisis, lies not only in the hands of the government but also in the hands of general society, particularly the youth. The solution ought to be such that it is affordable but also practical. In the meantime, however, it is essential that everyone be cognisant of the amount of water they use, more importantly what it is used for. The earth is our source of nourishment but for it to offer nourish, it needs to be cared for. The onus is there for on us to protect the earth, which we have been granted dominion over (Gen 1:26).
The Capetonian water crisis, is one of our greatest lessons and a push to do better for our common home.