Arid Beaufort West rejoices at gushing rain

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 24 April 2019

The Karoo town of Beaufort West – a favourite stopover for tourists travelling between Cape Town and Bloemfontein or Johannesburg on the N1 – has been in the grip of a crippling drought.

The town’s main dam, the Gamka, ran completely dry in October 2018 and residents have since been forced to survive on borehole and bottled water. A number of the wellpoints have run dry too, and emergency rations of water were trucked up to the town.

Since Monday morning, the town has finally been received desperately needed rainfall, as other parts of the country like KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape experienced severe flooding.

The SA Weather Service did issue a warning to the Western Cape town saying that flooding could be expected there between 12pm and 11pm on Tuesday.

The Karoo National Park initially reported 21mm of rain followed by a subsequent report of 50mm of rainfall in the Mountain View area of the park. SANParks issued a statement yesterday on Facebook saying that ‘all routes have been closed until further notice due to the wet conditions throughout the Park.’

The Department of Environmental affairs said that it is ‘pleased’ with the rainfall over the Central Karoo.

A spokesperson for the departmen, Marlene Hendricks, told News24 that ‘some people had been late for work on Tuesday because they were playing in the rain – some just standing in it, enjoying the feeling.’


Image: Twitter/SANParks

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