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Cape Town’s Muslims Pushing Back Day Zero: Awqaf SA’s Water Conservation Project

Cape Town, situated at the foot of Africa, is the southernmost city in a water-stressed region. Graced by a Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and cold, wet winters, Cape Town has always been dependent on its winter rainfall to get through the dry months of October to April. Already victim to drought cycles, the Western Cape – the area surrounding Cape Town – has been hit by three years of below-average rainfall and deepening climate change, exacerbated by the El-Nino-La-Nina effect, the warming or cooling of the Pacific, which impacts on global weather systems. An example of how devastating the drought has been is indicated by average rainfall figures at Cape Town International Airport. Whilst the normal average precipitation per annum has been just over 500mm, this year saw only 120mm rain falling, and the dams reflecting only 30% of capacity at winter’s end. Coupled with political bickering by the Democratic Alliance (DA), which governs the region, and the African National Congress (ANC), which controls national government, the 6 million citizens of the Cape have been the victims. Warnings about Cape Town running out of water due to increasing demands and population densities have been circulating since the 1970s, and more recently, in 1990 and 2007, when it was finally predicted that if something was not done about increasing capacity, the city’s taps would run dry between 2012 and 2015. Running on models that Cape Town would only see its ‘Day Zero’ in 2022, the city authorities did institute ...

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