19 February 2016
Operation Hydrate has announced that it has allocated R1-million for the drilling of an initial 15 boreholes in drought-stricken areas of South Africa.
Working alongside aid relief organisation Al-Imdaad Foundation, the NGO will drill an initial five boreholes in the Zululand district of KwaZulu-Natal. Partnerships with other NGOs are being finalised for the operation to continue in other provinces.
The NGO is on a mission to distribute water to dry parts of the country and has distributed more than 7 million litres of water to regions in five provinces since it launched in early January this year. The initiative was started in response to urgent calls for water from affected communities.
According to Operation Hydrate’s Yaseen Theba, drilling the boreholes is phase two of the NGO’s drive. “While we [are] continuing to deliver thousands of litres of bottled water for drinking purposes to those affected, we are now moving into phase two, which is boreholes.”
Several boreholes are already in use in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal because of Al Imdaad and the government social initiative, Operation Sukuma Sakhe.
Although the boreholes will bring some relief to communities hit by drought, Operation Hydrate will continue to distribute bottled water as it says “more and more taps are running dry and the drought is widening”.
“We cannot sit back helplessly and see our people suffering,” says Theba. “We must all join hands and continue and expand our humanitarian efforts.”
This weekend, Operation Hydrate will distribute 10 truckloads of water to Modimolle and Tzaneen in Limpopo, Barberton and Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, and Ixopo in KwaZulu-Natal.
At a water drive held at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg on 29 January, it was reported that Operation Hydrate had collected more than R55-million from private and public sector donors. Meanwhile, in Mogale City, Alma Mater Academy’s 10-year-old learner Annemique Janse van Vuuren got friends and teachers to collect 28 000 litres of water, far surpassing the initial target of 20 000 litres. The water will be donated to Operation Hydrate on Monday, 22 February.
The NGO’s project co-ordinator, Yusuf Abramjee, is heartened by donations from South Africans, saying that it is the spirit of ubuntu shining across the country. “Corporates, schools, NGOs, religious organisations and individuals are continuing to donate water and cash. Our hundreds of volunteers are leading the way. They are sacrificing their time and resources to collect water, package it for transport and distribute the loads in affected areas.
“We appreciate support from all sectors of society including (the) government. We are working closely with the Department of Water and Sanitation to identify areas in need of water and also where to drill boreholes. Please also donate towards boreholes.”
Operation Hydrate chairperson Fayaaz Moosa appealed to the public to continue to donate water and cash. “The support from our schools has been phenomenal. Our teams visit schools every week to collect water. Many schools have taken up the challenge by displaying the water creatively.”
What you can do to help
Operation Hydrate has called on all South Africans to help bring relief for those suffering from the drought. Here’s how you can help:
- Donate cash to buy bottled water and for boreholes. The Johannesburg drop-off point is 11 Western Boulevard Road, City Deep. In Pretoria, water can be delivered to Operation Hydrate at the Zwartkop Raceway along the R55 in Centurion. All collection points for sealed bottles of water will stop on Wednesday, 31 March.
- Cricket fans can donate five-litre sealed bottles of water outside Bidvest Wanderers on Sunday, 21 February and on 6 March during South Africa’s T20 games with England and Australia respectively.
- You can donate R30 to Operation Hydrate when you SMS WATER to 42530.
- You can also transfer funds straight into the NGO’s bank account: Operation Hydrate, Absa, branch code 632005, account number 9314587739. Your name and telephone number can be used as a reference
South Africa.info reporter