BIM News

Last trends of the AECO sector

DAY ZERO: drought and resentment in Cape Town (PART II)

Have a look to understand what is happening seriously in South Africa

Published: 23/04/2018

Country: South Africa
Author: Lorenzo Correa

Many users accuse the managers of not having acted with enough foresight to face this crisis in an area that has previously been affected by other droughts. In addition, there are 22,000 private wells in the city. If, as it is  expected, when the restriction reaches 50 liters per inhabitant a day, the owners start using these waters without previous analysis and treatment, the catastrophe will be even greater. 

As can be expected, in a city with a huge social gap, those who live in poverty, only use 5% of the water consumed, which highlights inequality and causes little commitment and solidarity.

In this situation, the mayor already declares that the time has come to "force" the savings, which is no longer a time to ask for "favors". But the population goes on believing that in April tap water will stop working and, therefore, on the one hand, blames the managers for their lack of foresight and, on the other, continues to consume as long as they can, because, when the water stops flowing through the tap , there will be only 200 points of supply in the city where they will pilgrimage to as if they were in another area of Africa, further north. Surely, the poor will adapt before and better to the new situation. 

Last but not least, authorities do not hide a great concern about proliferation of diseases related to the lack of water, as the cases are growing during the drought episode: typhoid fever, which spreads through contaminated food or beverages; diphtheria and especially the listeriosis that is transmitted by eating food, contaminated with the bacteria living in water and soil. 

Attending to this dark and gloomy panorama, let's go to the emotions that produce the fact of knowing that technology can do nothing for the tap water supply work within a few months, instead, that only nature could: which mood can capetonians be found in?  

In the same as any human being who is in these circumstances, which unfortunately are commonly increasing in our global water management universe, caused by its absence, its excessive abundance or its lack of quality: this state of mind is resentment. Due to it there is the need for a paradigm change in the management of the future of water, for which we tirelessly advocate from these pages. 

When we fight against that we cannot change, when we are unable to accept what life brings, we feed the sheed of resentment. 

Capetonians (like any human beings in their place), believe that they have the moral right to have water and that, even if they are told there is no, they deserve to have it and that someone is avoiding it. And so, they point out the guilty, who is precisely the one who now asks him to save and demands them with huge fines and high fees if they consume. Some of them go beyond the managers or the government and already blame the whole world or even Life itself. And they proclaim that the guilty one will pay for it. That desire for revenge is intimately linked to resentment and ends up in anger. 

In order not to feel resentment, it's necessary to close its main feeding sources: promises and expectations that are not fulfilled. That is the task of the managers, in addition to  promoting and executing enormous palliative actions, which - almost - always arrive late. Few managers do, while most are dedicated with all the goodwill of the world to seek money, convince politicians and carry out building and infrastructure.  The second is imperative, but also the first. The support of the taxpayer and even of the politician and the financial institution will hardly be obtained if the petitioner doesn't feel confident with managers. 

Only a solid discipline and a strong socialization of the highest goals of an organization allow subordinates to accept practices based on a highly hierarchical structure with a biased distribution of power. But water management is not carried out by the military.

That's why, in South Africa and even in the North Pole, the state of resentment is extremely corrosive to social coexistence. The resentful suffers and is not happy. Better you don't ask them for anything until they accept, find peace and welcome trust in their heart. 

Lessons learned from the drought for a better water future, a more seductive future and with less resentment. 

This article is part of the Global UrbanTIC® and Smart Cities Certification Program is designed to fill the current gap between the two most influential groups in Smart City systems implementation; it puts both city management professionals and technological entrepreneurs in contact, developing a common language in order to promote innovation in the current development of cities.



+ Post an article
Stay updated with the latest news, events, job offers, software and much more. Sign up to our monthly Newsletter and enjoy the best of BIM for free

Thank you for subscribing to the Newsletter!