Drought crisis concern for public health

JOHANNESBURG, 21 March 2016 - We know that South Africa is facing its worst drought in two decades. What we don’t know is that there’s a looming public health crisis. While lower income areas tend to be worst affected, the nation as a whole is at risk.​ Video: eNCA

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa is facing its worst drought in two decades.

But the drought's impact is also creating a looming public health crisis.

While lower income areas tend to be worst affected, the nation as a whole is at risk.

“The raw water that goes into any purification plant will be of poorer quality during a drought. The water quality has deteriorated alarmingly over the past year,” said Dr Jo Barnes of Stellenbosch University.

If you, or anyone you know, has had a runny tummy recently, blame it on the drought.

Barnes said there could be far more gastro cases if rain doesn't fall soon.

There’s been a spike in diarrhoea cases amongst children living in informal settlements who don’t have access to clean, fresh water.

With the drought is pushing food prices way up, it compromises the nutrition of those who cannot afford to buy basic food items,weakening their immune systems and affecting their health.

* Watch the full report in the video gallery above

Bloomberg

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