Water brings relief

2016-02-03 06:00
WE have water! Residents of the drought-stricken Viljoenskroon celebrate the precious gift of water. Photos: Supplied

WE have water! Residents of the drought-stricken Viljoenskroon celebrate the precious gift of water. Photos: Supplied

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AMIDST numerous troubles and conflict in the country, South Africans have proven their unity by standing together during the devastation of the drought and supporting those in hard-hit areas.

Adcock Ingram, a leading South African pharmaceutical manufacturer, also added its weight to drought relief.

On Saturday, 23 January, a group of volunteers arrived in Viljoenskroon with a donation of water, wheelbarrows, food and clothing for the community.

All in all, 30 000 litres of water and 200 wheelbarrows were given to the residents.

In the next few weeks the company will donate a further 75 000 litres to various drought-stricken sites.

According to Juliet Fourie, MD of the Adcock Ingram Consumer Division, the company realised that wholesale customers in the informal sector struggled to carry the stock they had bought, because they lacked transport.

“We then also learned that people in poorer communities were battling to transport fresh water to their homes. The water and wheelbarrow campaign was a very successful solution to both these problems.

“The knowledge of the drought devastation in the Free State motivated us to use the same items to assist this community in need.

“We produced enough containers to carry the 30 000 litres of water to the Viljoenskroon community members and supplied the wheelbarrows to assist the community in transporting water and other essential items, such as firewood, to their homes,” she said.

Viljoenskroon, a maize- and cattle-farming community in the Northern Free State, has been identified as one of the worst-hit areas by the current drought.

According to Nico Palm, a community forum leader in Viljoenskroon, the people are overcome with gratitude.

“Nothing we say can repay them for their kindness and willingness to assist people during the drought,” he said.

“It was an honour and a privilege to participate and the great appreciation of the community members has strengthened our resolve to do more,” Fourie said. “Our country is in desperate need of rain. No one can change the weather, but that doesn’t mean we should stand idly by while the country dies of thirst.

“If we stand together – as a country, as communities, as companies – we can all do something to help.”

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