Recent rains in the Eastern Cape have brought much needed relief to Nelson Mandela Bay and the Gamtoos Valley, where five citrus towns were fast approaching Day Zero.

Persistent rains over the weekend in the drought stricken western part of the province has seen, local communities, including farmers in Jeffery’s Bay, Oyster Bay, Kouga, Port Elizabeth, Kouga, Patensie, Hankey and Humansdorp breathing a deep sigh of relief at the prospect of having drinking water at their doorstep.

According to the Department of Water and Sanitation’s weekly report water levels at Kouga Dam rose from a mere 6.8% two weeks ago to a whopping 30.9% this week.

“The state of water has generally improved in areas that were hitherto depressed from the acute shortage of water,” the department said.

Loerie Dam went up from 81.2% to 90.2%, while Umtata remained the same as last week at 99.7% and Nahoon decreased from 70.4% to 70.0%.

The department has welcomed the rains which have resulted in some dams supplying the metro experiencing significant increases.

However, the department has maintained that water restrictions will remain in place, and has asked residents to continue to save water.