Sunday, 23 January 2022

After Cape Town, Ivory Coast city feels the thirst

SA

Agencies

CAPE TOWN: Earlier this year, Cape Town grabbed the world’s headlines as it careened towards a water armageddon.

Crippled by a three-year-long drought, the South African city braced for a complete shutdown of domestic water supplies.

In the event, Cape Town dodged the immediate bullet. But thousands of kilometres (miles) away, another African city has had far less luck – and much less attention for its ordeal.

“We haven’t had a drop from our taps for three weeks,” said a resident of Bouake, Ivory Coast’s second largest city, while she awaited her turn to draw water from from a well.

“The situation is catastrophic,” said an employee of the state-run water distribution company, Sodeci, who asked not to be named.

Located in grassy savanna around 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the Ivorian economic capital of Abidjan, Bouake is a city of more than half million souls, with a million more in surrounding territory.

The area has been hit by a double whammy. The dammed lake that supplies 70 percent of the city’s water has run dry.

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