February 25, 2016 / 4:45 PM / 3 years ago

Drought dries South Africa's dams, more than three years to recover: minister

Dead fish are seen as Lake St Lucia is almost completely dry due to drought conditions in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, northeast of Durban, South Africa February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The water level in South Africa’s 180 dams have declined 16.1 percent since October 1 to 53.9 percent of capacity compared to 81.1 percent the same time last year, the water minister said on Thursday.

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane also told parliament that it could take more than three years for dam levels to recover to acceptable operating capacities given the effects of a strong El Nino weather phenomenon.

Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Ed Stoddard

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