Drought Crisis in Eastern Cape Alarming

Gift of the Givers intervened in Makhanda at short notice last week thinking that this was the only region in the Eastern Cape requiring water on a temporary basis until infrastructure was repaired, which was expected to take five days.

We have subsequently received calls from Riebeeck East, Amathole District (Queenstown) where over 50 000 people in 100 villages are without water for several months  (the prevalence of water-borne diseases is increasing), and from Chris Hani Municipality. The challenges in Eastern Cape are multiplying:

1. Infrastructure repair of Johan Kleynhans Water Treatment Works only restored 25% of functionality. East side of Makhanda still needs 7 Megalitres of water per day.
2. Engineers predict that west side of Makhanda only has 10 days of water left.
3. Water stressed areas of Riebeeck East, Amathole and Chris Hani require long term intervention.
4. Animals in the area are desperately in need of fodder.

Gift of the Givers is delivering bottled water to Makhanda and Riebeeck East. We commence delivery to Amathole today. Our drilling team led by Dr Groenewald has arrived in Grahamstown. Dr Groenewald is in consultation with several engineers and will soon survey the area to select sites for drilling. Animal fodder will be fetched from Howick this afternoon for delivery to Makhanda. Multiple, very small scale rural emerging farmers are dependent on this fodder.

All forms of support from government, corporates, bottled water, fodder and fuel production companies, and the public in general will be most appreciated as the drought crisis in Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape is expanding at an alarming rate affecting man and animal. An audit of sheep count in Sutherland has indicated a drop in numbers from 400 00 to 67000. It will take four years under ideal conditions to restore the population. Gift of the Givers is actively involved in drought relief in all these provinces having expanded R160 million thus far.