Since 2015 South Africa has been experiencing drought and drought-like conditions. In recent times Gift of the Givers responded to the drought in: KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo, Northern Cape, and Western Cape.
During March 2018 the drought in the Western Cape and neighbouring provinces was finally declared a national disaster. The 2017 rainy season was recorded as the driest since 1933. The mean rainfall for the 3 years 2015 to 2017 is recorded as one of the lowest in the last 84 years. The vast areas, and their large populations affected, makes this one of the worst droughts in this country over the last 40 years Gift of the Givers has over 28 years’ experience in disaster response and disaster management.
The response in each of the areas was a combination of:
- bottled water
- drilling of boreholes and digging of well-points
- water trucks
- water tanks
- food parcels
- animal feed
- provision of drought-resistant crops, such as sweet potato vines
Immediate provision of bottled water addressed the immediate need in areas facing critical shortage, making bottled water accessible to the affected people in impoverished areas who could not afford to purchase bottled water at inflated prices.
Groundwater supply focuses on finding sustainable sources of ground water where the existing or new boreholes pump water into the reservoirs, or where existing or new boreholes were equipped with pumps and a network of pipes, tanks and taps to create multiple service points from the single borehole. Water is tested ensuring that it is potable and safe for human consumption.
Not only do we create access points near the borehole, but we have provided water tankers to the communities, especially in areas where drilling was not feasible.
While the focal point of any drought is on water supply, a secondary effect is unemployment and loss of income, and destroyed crops. Gift of the Givers subsequently supplies food parcels to affected areas to sustain these families during this period.
While the primary focus is on human needs, the animals are not forgotten. Animal fodder is delivered to farmers for their livestock and water collected and deemed unfit for human consumption is distributed to animal shelters.