10-05-2018 - Cape Town - Day Zero

I departed from Cape Town to Singapore on 10th May 2018. It has been close to 4 years living in a outpost which I hang my shirts and do the laundry time to time.

The last memory I have about the departure, apart of filling my existence in another set of 4 extra large suitcases and felling my life running away, was the maintenance crew coming to my apartment and apply water restrictors on the taps.

Cape Town was running out of water. "Day Zero" as it was coined, was coming - somewhere in the middle of June - the day which water will not run anymore out of the taps. The effect of total water consumption was the result of poor public policy management. A perfect storm of a combination of population increase due to the fact of incoming migrants from wrecked cities like Johannesburg and Durban poised with crime and terror, the deviation of water to farms and agriculture and bellow that half of average of rainfall for 3 consecutive years. It is, literally a black swan that could had been avoided if local government studied appropriately the impact of water crisis, like any other critical societal topic, reverted to public policy design and enactment.

Day zero never came. Local authorities were able to enforce water restrictions combined with a public campaign that made heydays. People taking a bath in plastic basins, collecting water from air conditioners exhaust, reserving grey water, putting people to adopt gel to wash the hands. But day zero was also a permanent reality in the slums. I remember that the entity which was managing the condominium, informing that there was an agreement between such entity and the city hall to donate a plot of land to build a desalination plant which should be used to serve the inhabitants residing in the area (the affluent zone). Such water will never reach the slums, that exposes the divide that still exists in South Africa, in a reason that some still have everything, while others are still waiting for day one.


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