Gift of the Givers appeals for Beaufort West water help

South African relief aid organisation the Gift of the Givers has appealed to all South Africans to help combat the drought in the Western Cape, particularly in the town of Beaufort West, where the water supply is dire.

The Gift of the Givers is helping to avert the water crisis in Beaufort West and the surrounding region, through water management projects as well as donations of animal feed and water. (Image: Gift of the Givers website)

The group has asked that South Africans donate sealed bottled water to be sent to Beaufort West, in the Karoo. The town’s dam, its only water supply, has run dry and residents are relying solely on borehole water and treated sewage water.

In addition to donations from the public, the Gift of the Givers is working with hydrologists to source much-needed groundwater. The team is led by hydrologist Dr Gideon Groenewald.

Givers chairman Imtiaz Sooliman said at the beginning of November 2017 that while the project to find groundwater was progressing well, the town needed much more to tackle the crisis. “We did find water. Right now, we have 420,000 litres per day. That borehole should be fully functional today. We are looking at more boreholes for at least 1 million litres of water a day, so that the whole town can be fed.”

After 28 days of work on the project, the Givers announced on 28 November that 1.2 million litres a day was now being safely pumped into the town’s water reservoirs. It added: “We still pray for… rains to fill the various dams in the region and the underground water reserves, simultaneously requesting all South Africans to conserve this scarce resource and use it sparingly and efficiently.”

The Gift of the Givers is also intervening in the nearby farming town of Vredendal, with relief deliveries of animal fodder and food and water for almost 3,000 farm workers.

Both the Givers and the Beaufort West municipality have appealed to travellers passing through the region in December to donate what they can to help relieve the crisis.

In addition, the relief organisation is calling on all South Africans, but especially big business, to get involved in the ongoing intervention project. It particularly called on companies specialising in water management and operations, in order to source and deliver groundwater. It also needs transport companies to give time and transport to deliver water donations to the area.

“We are appealing to the broader South African society to help the most vulnerable communities,” Gift of the Givers co-ordinator Farouk Jogiat said yesterday.

In Gauteng, people can deliver water donations to the corner of 25 Arterial Road and 26 Kloof Road, Bedfordview. Other drop-off sites in Gauteng and around the rest of the country will be published on social media once they have been confirmed.

In the meantime, financial donations and other contributions can be made through the project co-ordinators, Farouk Jogiat on 082 351 7864 and Mohammed Yehia Dicko on 084 244 7744.

For information about and news on the project’s progress in the Western Cape, contact the Gift of the Givers Foundation toll free number 0800 786 777 or visit its website here.

“[Donations] will make an immense difference to the quality of life of those most stricken and affected by the devastating drought,” Jogiat concluded.

Source: EWN, Gift of the Givers website

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