Makhanda Declared a State of Disaster.

Sarah Baartman Municipality (which includes Makhanda) has been declared a Local State of Disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002. The declaration is published in the Government Gazette of 25 February 2019. Currently, due to reduced dam levels on the west and damaged filters on the east there is a shortfall of 13 megalitres of water per day. For the first time during Gift of the Givers intervention have we seen people run down the mountain to our trucks in panic and desperation. We have been reliably informed by sources within the SAPS that long queues of cars had gathered from the early hours of this morning at a solitary spring at the outskirts of the city to collect water.

In spite of the mounting challenges in the face of no rain and limited functional water treatment plants, Gift of the Givers are optimistic that we will achieve a substantial measure of success to assist the residents of Makhanda. Our intervention thus far:

1. February 8 and 9 Gift of the Givers receive several calls of desperation from Makhanda residents citing the water shortage.
2. February 11 our teams depart for the area.
3. February 12 delivery of millions of litres of bottled water commences to 25 distribution points including schools, clinics, and old age homes.
4. Bottled water sent to Riebeeck East and Alicedale.
5. February 18 Gift of the Givers drilling team arrives.
6. February 19 Dr Gideon Groenewald, Gift of the Givers hydrologist, geologist, palaentologist is on location to site boreholes.
7. February 19 Dr Gideon Groenewald drills to study the geology of the Witteberg rock formation at Waainek Water Plant with no intention of finding water. By the Grace of the Almighty he finds 70 000 litres per day. That's the first borehole.
8. February 20 animal fodder (48 bales) delivered to emerging farmers.
9. February 21 second borehole drilled at Rhodes University producing 400 000 litres per day.
10. February 24 third borehole drilled at Settlers Monument producing 100 000 litres per day.

February 25:

11. Gift of the Givers brings a second drilling rig into Makhanda. This was purchased by us at a cost of R4 million.
12. Fourth borehole drilled at Ntsika Secondary School producing 1.2 million litres per day.
13. Drilling takes place at Grahamstown Primary School but this time to test the geology of the Dwyka rock formation. As expected, the water quality in this rock is not acceptable. We close the hole.
14. We purchase 20 x 5000L JoJo tanks to prepare for distribution of borehole water.
15. Makro donates 36 pallets of bottled water.
16. Isuzu donates two water tankers.
17. Engen donates 150 x 10000L JoJo tanks.
18. Makhanda Municipality hires eight water tankers for water delivery.

February 27:

19. Drilling of the fifth borehole commences at Rhodes University.
20. Drilling of the sixth borehole  commences at Ntsika School.

March 1:

21. Chemical analysts of the internationally recognised lab, Food Consulting Services, fly in from Johannesburg to collect water samples from our first four boreholes. The technical staff have arrived from Johannesburg. They will test water for e.coli, pathogens, metals and salts. This process takes 5-7 days. We await a certificate of approval from this accredited lab BEFORE we announce the water as potable. Makro sponsors the total cost of this important procedure.
22. ABSA donates 360 000L of bottled water.
23. Dr Groenewald installs pumps and electrical connections at the first four boreholes.
24. We deliver three truckloads of water to Makhanda.

25. On Monday, 4 March, six DHL trucks (transport sponsored), and five Gift of the Givers trucks will deliver 360 pallets of water and some JoJo tanks from Cape Town to Makhanda.
26. March 5 drilling continues on boreholes 5 and 6.
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