Lesotho has come to the rescue of its neighbours in South Africa by sharing much-needed water from the Katse Dam with Aliwal North.
The water was released in terms of a bilateral agreement between Lesotho and South Africa in terms of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.
The release was authorised by Director-General Margaret-Ann Diedricks as residents begged for water from motorists passing the town.
The release was to restore and stabilise water levels in the Upper Orange River (upstream from Gariep Dam) for use especially at Aliwal North in the Joe Gqabi district municipality.
Department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the water arrived in the Aliwal North area on Wednesday night to relief.
The department stressed that the water was for human consumption and it would monitor illegal abstraction.
Five provinces – KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Free State and North West – have already been declared disaster zones because of the drought.