On Tuesday, the government declared a "national disaster" over the drought that is threatening to leave homes in Cape Town without running water. The drought has now been elevated to disaster status after reassessing its "magnitude and severity". Cape Town is in the grip of a three-year-long drought as sparse winter rains have failed to bring relief, and dam levels have dropped dangerously low. Rains at the weekend raised hopes that the situation would improve, but the downpours were neither heavy nor long enough to have an effect on the situation. The statement, published in the government gazette, means that the national government is now responsible for tackling the issue and ensuring relief efforts. Cape Town is facing the prospect of having to turn its taps off under a so-called Day Zero scenario to conserve the city’s remaining water supplies. Most Cape Town residents would be forced to queue at communal taps at 200 water points — likely under police or military guard — to col...

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