Drought Relief for Free State

We have been inundated with calls from the public wanting to assist with the drought situation in the Free State given the difficulty in Senekal and surrounding areas.  We don't respond until a call is made to us for assistance as we are inundated with projects 365 days a year.  On Friday, 8 January 2016, we received a call from Dr Zuneit Adam, representing the Bethlehem community and involved in a task team including local and provincial government.  

This is the feedback:

1. Several areas in an 80km radius are desperately in need of water.
2. The 260 000 liters sent daily by water tankers is not sufficient to meet the people's needs.
3. Supplying water from the tanker directly to the people is not effective as the process takes five hours delaying the tankers to go for refills.  More water tankers are required.
4. Supplying bottle water only is expensive and not sustainable in the long term.
5. Farmers are providing water from their boreholes at 15 cents per liter but they are afraid that the boreholes are going to dry soon; they have already reduced the daily output as a practical safeguard.  A hydrological study is being conducted this week to assess if ground water is available in other areas so as to drill new boreholes.
6. Jojo tanks are of immense practical value; four have been donated so far.  Water from the tankers are pumped into these tanks quickly and the community then gets their supply from these tanks.  More Jojo tanks are required.

Gift of the Givers has decided to purchase a water tanker to assist the existing water tankers, will provide more Jojo tanks, will pay for several boreholes if the hydrological study recommends that, and in the meantime as a stop gap measure will send a fleet of trucks with bottled water until we can implement the other more practical, cost effective measures.  The Bethlehem Municipality will provide water at a subsidized rate of R1800 per tanker.

Massmart and Vodacom have already come forward to partner us, other companies are welcome to join the campaign as this is not an exclusive partnership.  The public can contribute bottled water in kind to our various offices or at Massmart stores in South Africa.  Massmart management is looking into a discounted water price from purchases at their stores.  Cash contributions are welcome into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account Number 052137228, Branch Code 057525, Reference: Drought. Please email or fax deposit slip with full contact details for acknowledgement purposes. Tax benefit certificates can be obtained directly from laila@giftofthegivers.org  Details toll free on 0800786777, Allauddin 0836677179, Salim 0836512006.