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Rain gives ‘some hope’

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Once dried-up rivers are flowing again.

WELCOME rain has fallen in parts of the drought-ravaged areas of the Northern Cape and photographs have been placed on social media of once dried-up rivers flowing again.

Khulu Phasiwe, communications head at the SA Radio Astronomy Observatory, posted a video on Twitter earlier this week showing what was once a dried-up river flowing with water following morning rains.

“After a five-year killer drought, some relief as parts of the Karoo, Northern Cape, receive Summer rains,” Phasiwe said.

According to the South African Weather Service, various parts of the Province received good rains this week. As at 8am on Wednesday morning, a total of 21mm was recorded in De Aar, 38mm in Noupoort, 14mm in Prieska and 17mm in Vanwyksvlei.

By 8am yesterday morning, more rain had fallen and the Weather Service reported 8mm in De Aar, 6mm in Fraserburg, 12mm in Kimberley, 3mm in Nieuwoudtville, 22mm in Noupoort, 14mm in Orania, 15mm in Vaalharts and 5mm in Vanzylsrus.

The Weather Service described the rainfall in the central parts of the country as “a good amount”.

While clear skies were predicted for Kimberley for today and tomorrow, thundershowers have been forecast from Sunday.

Southern parts of the Province can also expect more rain.

Nicol Jansen, president of Agri Northern Cape, warned yesterday, however, that the crippling drought was far from over.

“While we welcome the rain that fell on some farms in the southern parts of the Province, the term ‘good rains’ is a relative one. The recent rain has been very isolated and did not fall throughout the entire district.”

He added that the average rainfall for this part of the country was 180mm a year. “If 20 or 30mm of rain fell, it is still far short of the average and we need rain that is well above average to break the drought. The recent rain has given us some hope but it was not widespread.”

Jansen pointed out that humanitarian aid and fodder was still needed by many farmers. “There has been no recovery in terms of the pastures and we are still hoping and praying for a frontal system to bring rain, which we hope is not far off.”