Gift of the Givers, a South African based disaster response NGO with international focus, has concluded that “Day Zero is virtually inevitable” and as such has launched preparations to deal with the eventuality. Its interventions will include drilling of boreholes to serve vulnerable communities and stockpiling drinking water for distribution.
The organisation notes that “the situation cannot be reversed as significant rainfall is not guaranteed and water consumption exceeds daily targets. Four million people face the harsh reality of standing in water queues at 200 distribution points throughout the Western Cape. This process could last a week, a month or even a whole year depending on the strength of our prayer.”
Fortunately, says the organisation, appropriate measures can manage the crisis significantly if not completely. “Gift of the Givers has committed itself to the people of the Western Cape through various planned interventions. Collection of 5L bottled water has already commenced in earnest at more than 70 collection points throughout South Africa. The first delivery of this water on two Gift of the Givers trucks to the SANDF military base at Fort Ikapa, Goodwood, Cape Town, commences this morning. ALL water will be stockpiled in SANDF military bases in Western Cape to be distributed at the most appropriate time.
The organisation said the drilling of boreholes, dependent on the state of aquifers are planned for Khayelitsha, Bonnievale, De Doorns, Ceres, Atlantis and Vredendal. Gift of the Givers is considering purchasing its own borehole drilling rig at a cost of R2.5 million to expedite the search for water in these and multiple areas of great need. The drilling process will be supervised by Dr Gideon Groenewald, hydrologist, geologist and palaentologist. We will consider drilling boreholes at hospitals and schools and reactivate existing non-functional boreholes dependent on the state of the aquifers which have to be preserved at all costs. The setting up of a large number of JoJo tanks in strategic locations is another planned intervention and so is the distribution of hand sanitisers and wet wipes.
A key aspect of the intervention is the sourcing of pure, tested, clean drinking water from various springs and delivery of that in water tankers to JoJo tanks. A list of institutions in urgent need of water, including homes for the elderly, orphanages, homes for the physically and mentally challenged will be compiled and water delivered to them.
Co-operation and support from corporates, government departments and the public at large will enhance Gift of the Givers capability to intervene meaningfully. Transnet will be engaged to provide trains for transporting water from all parts of South Africa, shipping companies for transport from Durban harbour to Cape Town and road transporters are called upon to give us modest space on their trucks to Cape Town.
Cash contributions into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account Number 052137228, Branch Code 057525. Send deposit slip to <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.”>email@example.com.</a>
Gift of the Givers has been involved in drought relief since October 2015. Last year between August and December we delivered R40 million in fodder to farmers in distress.
All interventions are dependent on the availability of resources, public and private support and time to get to all water points.