There seems to be a palpable fear rising in the Cape. The panic level has increased considerably since the City of Cape Town released the latest statistics around the water crisis. The city of 4 million people is headed to be the first major city to run out of water. When the taps are turned off we will be forced to collect our water at designated points around the city. We will be allowed 25 litres a day. That’s about 6 gallons a day per person. The average American shower uses 17 gallons of water.
The city has just slashed our allotted usage from 87 litres to 50 litres a day, or 13 gallons. As it stands, we don’t flush our toilets unless absolutely necessary (if it’s yellow…), we take bucket showers, capture all excess water in buckets to be reused, etc. Now we are looking at showering once a week, washing clothes only when necessary and the daunting task of trying to keep the water usage low. There are hefty fines and tariffs if we use too much.
This leaves us with the daunting question of what to do in the future. What will life look like with no access to water in a city of 4 million people? (Here’s a glimpse) What diseases will erupt? What will people do to each other? Do we leave, like many are talking about? Do we send our kids back to stay with grandparents? (Suprise, if you’re reading this grandparents!) It seems incredulous that we are even asking these questions and it betrays our privilege that we can entertain such possibility when millions of Capetonians can afford to go nowhere. But wisdom dictates that we not ignore the impending scenario, should it transpire. The premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, suggested at the latest news conference, that those who can afford to do so, should book into a hotel for the duration of the crisis. Who can book into a hotel for the next four months?!
We need rain. Please pray for rain. And peace. We need both. It’s very hard not to get caught up in the catastrophic possibilities but rather to dwell in peace. Please pray for rain and for peace and for the overflowing goodness of a God who sees. It is our heart that miracles can happen and we sincerely believe that for Cape Town.