Week in Review – Drought in South Africa, Iran Nuclear Deal and Men´s Day

Drought in South Africa

90-second showers, police enforcement and public shaming – all this helped Cape Town to stave off the worst of the water crisis. This is a three-year drought and it has drained the city´s water sources. But with strict regulations Cape Town managed to reduce water consumption by more than half since 2015 and with that Day Zero has been stalled off for at least another year.

People had to drastically reduce their water usage to 50 litres a day per person. Washing machine water was reused to flush toilets, cars stand unwashed in the driveway and gardens remain uncultivated. In order to enforce the water restrictions police patrolled the streets to check if someone was outside using water. Even construction workers mixing cement with the city´s water were will be fined.

Another step that was taken was a map on the city´s website that showed every street and every house. Houses marked with a dark green dot were well within the restrictions of water usage but houses with a light green dot were close to the limits. This map underlines the urgency to save water and publicly shames people that waste it.

The city is also looking at long-term solutions for the water crisis. There is talk about the construction of a desalination plant but also about catching a drifting iceberg to bring it back to the South African coast in order to diversify the water sources.

police enforcement (pəˈli:s ɪnˈfɔ:smənt) – polizeiliche Durchsetzung
drought (draʊt) – die Dürre, Trockenheit
o drain (dreɪn) – dahinschwinden, ausschöpfen, aussaugen
source (sɔ:s) – die Quelle, Ursprung
consumption (kənˈsʌm(p)ʃən) – der Verbrauch, Konsum
to stall (stɔ:l) – etw verzögern, Zeit gewinnen
driveway (draɪvweɪ) – die Einfahrt, Fahrweg
uncultivated (ʌnˈkʌltɪveɪtɪd) – unbebaut, brachliegend
construction worker (kənˈstrʌkʃən ˈwɜ:kəʳ) – der Bauarbeiter
to fine (faɪn) – ein Bußgeld verhängen, eine Geldstrafe auferlegen
restriction (rɪˈstrɪkʃən) – die Begrenzung, Einschränkung
to underline (ˈʌndəʳlaɪn) – etw unterstreichen, verdeutlichen, klarmachen
urgency (ˈɜ:ʤən(t)si) – die Dringlichkeit
long-term (lɒŋ-tɜ:m) – langfristig
solution (səˈlu:ʃən) – die Lösung
desalination plant (di:ˌsælɪˈneɪʃən) – die Entsalzungsanlage, Meerwasserentsalzungsanlage
to drift (drɪft) – treiben, dahintreiben
to diversify (daɪˈvɜ:sɪfaɪ) – vervielfältigen, etw umfangreicher machen

Iran Nuclear Deal

On Wednesday earlier this week Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. With the deal Iran originally agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and in return sanctions would be lifted from the country. Co-signatories of the deal are Germany, Britain, France, Russia, China and the European Union. The deal was made as a starting point for better relations between Iran and the West.

Trump´s decision to leave the deal introduces a new era in the US-Iran tensions after months of threats. He leaves the rest of the nations that are involved to deal with it. Trump wanted them to toughen the terms of the deal. He declared that the US would impose the highest-level economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. Experts worry it might empower hard-liners in Teheran and makes it harder for Iran to engage with the international community.

Tehran denounced Trump´s decision to pull out of the deal and an american flag was burned in Iran´s parliament as a sign of protest. If the deal is no longer binding it would also mean that Iran would no longer be obliged to let in international nuclear inspectors. The remaining nations want to keep the deal as it is, regardless of US involvement. And so far, Iran seems to be in line with this decision.

to withdraw (wɪðˈdrɔ:) – etw herausziehen, zurückziehen
to limit (ˈlɪmɪt) – einschränken, mindern
to lift (lɪft) – etw aufheben, heben
co-signatory (kəʊsɪgnətəri)  – Mitunterzeichner/in
to introduce (ˌɪntrəˈdju:s) – etw vorstellen, hier: einleiten, einführen
to toughen (ˈtʌfən) – etw stählen, anziehen
to impose (ɪmˈpəʊz) – etw durchsetzen, etw verhängen, auferlegen
economic (ˌi:kəˈnɒmɪk) – ökonomisch, wirtschaftlich
to engage (ɪnˈgʤ) – sich beteiligen, sich einlassen
to denounce (dɪˈnn(t)s) – etw anprangern, denunzieren
to oblige (əˈblʤ) – verpflichtet sein
inspector (ɪnˈspektəʳ) – Aufsicht
regardless (rɪˈgɑ:dləs) – trotzdem, trotz, hne Rücksicht, achtlos
involvement (ɪnˈvɒlvmənt) – die Beteiligung, Verwicklung

Men´s Day

On the 40th day of Easter, Catholic tradition says Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, that is why Ascension Day always falls on a Thursday. In Germany, it is not just about Jesus rising into heaven it’s also Father’s Day, or Men’s Day as it’s called in some places.

Ascension day is usually a day off in all of Germany, and men usually celebrate it in a traditional way, as opposed to going to church and celebrate the day the heavenly way, men gather in parties and drag around a decorated wagon filled with beer and food.

The tradition dates back to the 18th century, men would ride into town on carts or carriages and whoever had the most children would be rewarded with a big slice of ham.

But according to the Federal statistics office,there is an increase of alcohol-related traffic accidents on this day each year, making it one of the peak times of the year for reckless intoxication.

ascended (əˈsɛndəd)  – aufgestiegen
ascension Day (əˈsɛnʃən deɪ) – die Himmelfahrt
opposed (əˈpoʊzd)  – entgegengesetzt
gather (ˈgæðər) – etw. sammeln
drag (dræg) – etw. schleppen
decorated (ˈdɛkəˌreɪtəd)  – dekoriert, geschmückt
carriages (ˈkærɪʤɪz)  – die Wagen
rewarded  (rɪˈwɔrdɪd)  – belohnt
statistics (stəˈtɪstɪks)  – die Statistiken
reckless (ˈrɛkləs)  – rücksichtslos
intoxication (ɪnˌtɑksəˈkeɪʃən) – der Rausch