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West Coast residents won’t let drought get them down

MEC Alan Winde is in the West Coast town of Graafwater to celebrate residents who are growing their own vegetables.

The 101-year-old April Jooste from Clanwilliam is one of the residents awarded for household gardens. Picture: Giovanni Gerbi/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Agriculture MEC says some West Coast residents are proving how easy it is to grow organic vegetables despite the persistent drought.

MEC Alan Winde is in the West Coast town of Graafwater to celebrate residents who are ensuring their own food security by maintaining their own veggie gardens.

Winde says many residents have shown innovative ways in tough conditions as water is scarce.

“It’s about getting a community to understand that they can produce your own food. It’s healthier. I want to put a message out today that we also need to look at how we use our water.”

The Clanwilliam Dam which provides water to a number of West Coast towns is at 36 % capacity.

'GARDENING IS MY SECRET TO LONGEVITY'

A 100-year-old Clanwilliam resident says working in his garden is the secret to his longevity.

Clanwilliam pensioner April Jooste is one month shy of his 101st birthday, but he’s fit as a fiddle.

Speaking to Eyewitness News in Afrikaans, Jooste says he wakes up every morning and heads straight for his garden where he grows a variety of veggies.

It’s not easy cultivating a garden in these West Coast towns as the drought has been particularly hard on this region and water is scarce.

But many of the residents have taken up the challenge producing vegetables for their own households with a little extra to sell.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter and Zamangwane Shange)

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