Auden, the poet, once said: “Thousands have lived without love, none without water.” He also said: “O plunge your hands in water, Plunge them in up to the wrist; Stare, stare in the basin And wonder what you've missed.”
Many notable words have been and will be said about the significance of water, for people have to be reminded of priorities and what is good for them.
South African water mismanagement early in the twenty first century is reaching mammoth proportions. It reflects a reckless neglect, the low ebb in the psyche of the nation about taking proper care of its vital interests. Sending in troops to assist in water management programmes is a signal of the alarming state of affairs, the inadequacy of current measures, the approaching collapse.
Volunteers clean parts of rivers that are brought to the public attention in a few parts of the country. Some blow the whistle about factory waste and raw sewage spills in too many places. Townships increasingly receive emergency water supplies, hastily arranged after long quiet periods of ignoring all warnings, while officials receive salaries for water management.
Be assured that the few enjoying the tranquil beauty of sunset reflections on pretty dams are not exempt from problem and duty. The groundswell of concern still has to reach a higher level before concerted efforts will turn the situation around (www.azquotes.com).