In our article yesterday on the animal crisis in Northern and Eastern Cape we mentioned that the chance of more incidents of farmer suicide is very real. Tragically, the words came true in less than 24 hours; Andries le Roux, 38, a hardworking, prize winning Angora goat breeder, respected member of the community, father of three beautiful children aged 6, 8 and 10, and owner of Farm Fortuin, in drought stricken Matjiesfontein, took his own life yesterday. He could not endure the suffering of his prized animals any longer. The wife, Estie, is shattered and cannot go back to the farm for various reasons.
Urgent intervention is required to prevent more tragedies both among human and animal. There has been a sterling response from farmers in various parts of the country providing free fodder and fuel, some corporates providing transport and the determined Elizabeth Visagie co-ordinating request and delivery. Gift of the Givers is part of a broader team involved in the emergency response having funded the delivery of 86 super links thus far carrying 2000 tons of various types of sponsored fodder. We are expanding our operations now to include purchase of our own horse and trailer dedicated to the delivery of animal fodder, purchasing our own water tankers to deliver water, drilling more boreholes for the same purpose and as a separate project preparing for a major delivery of food parcels to the hungry throughout South Africa (the recent Statistician-general report indicates that 55% of our country is in dire need).
Ekram Sayed, our drought project manager, was saddened by the number of dead and emaciated animals on farms as he drove through the inner recesses of the Northern Cape, he witnessed the deep pain in people's eyes and was moved by the elderly who stopped him enquiring in hopeful expectation - "is the next truck on the way". The number of areas critically affected are too numerous to list here, suffice to say the need is astronomical and extremely urgent.
Gift of the Givers appreciates the generosity of everyone who have responded thus far. If you have a truck, fuel or water to offer please contact us toll free on 0800786911. You may contact me or Elizabeth (082 576 3800) directly. Cash contributions into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account Number 052137228, Branch Code 057525. Please forward deposit slips to email@example.com