Learners from the Ocean View School for Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN) and the Kleinberg Primary School were the recipients of the first local borehole drilled by Jacaranda FM’s Project Waterdrop.According to Babalo Ndzaba, acting principal at Ocean View School for LSEN, the radio station approached the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and on Wednesday 20 June the first borehole was drilled at the Kleinberg Primary School.“The radio station visited our school during the first quarter and it was projected that the site for the borehole would be at Ocean View. Historical research, installation and engineering challenges validated Kleinberg as the ideal site where water could be better sourced. We thank the board, principal and staff of Kleinberg for accommodating the shift of location,” said Ndzaba.It was necessary to install the borehole to make the school community aware of saving water and to facilitate basic sanitary requirements, he says.“This borehole would also be utilized for the irrigation of the vegetable garden which will complement our feeding scheme at school. Before the installation of the borehole we already conscientised the learners via water-wise lessons on how to save water. “In addition to this we switched off some of our taps in the ablution facilities and used grey water for basic sanitary needs. We also take our meter readings on a daily basis,” he says.Martin Bester from the Pretoria based radio station’s Breakfast team said the borehole will benefit 1100 learners at Kleinberg and 100 special needs learners in the midst of a drought in the Western Cape.“We acted in response to requests from listeners in February to assist the drought-stricken Western Cape. We would drill boreholes, which would also be fitted with pumps, to benefit schools in vulnerable areas. The WCED and Cape Town Water Crisis Committee confirmed that rural schooling communities are the most vulnerable when drought hits,” Bester says. Several of the 15 schools earmarked for the project in the Cape Metro and West Coast are special needs schools with children from poor households.“Without water, the ablution facilities at these schools can’t be used. What it boils down to is that if there is no water, there is no school. Although the WCED is funding water container tanks at all affected schools, to take the ablution facilities off the municipal water grid, they do not have the funds to drill boreholes. “The schools would be responsible to fund their own boreholes, which again leaves the vulnerable communities with the highest threat to drought-related school closure.“The elation of these kids the moment the water bubbled to the surface is something you had to be here to fully appreciate.“There’s no doubt in my mind that our radio station has the most caring and giving community of listeners in South Africa, prepared to step up and help where it is needed most,” Bester said.Around 30 000 people attending the Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers Super Rugby clash end of March donated 122 000F of drinking water collected on the day to be distributed to Western Cape school districts in need.KykNET’s Toks ’n Tjops also rallied behind the project by adopting schools, covering the full R50 000 needed to set up a borehole.“The Ocean View School for LSEN was established for children with Downs Syndrome and autistic challenges. We serve the most impoverished areas of Ocean View, Red Hill, Da Gama Park, Masiphumilele, Kalk Bay, Westlake and Hout Bay for the past forty years.“The school makes provision for learners with behavioural and social challenges.“Despite our learners’ socio-economic challenges, for the academic years of 2016 to 2018 we excelled especially in sport, producing three Western Province (WP) netball players, 12 WP athletes, three WP table tennis players, one WP volley ball player and two WP soccer players,” Ndzaba says.Even with the assistance of staff and community the resources of the school remain extremely skeletal and sponsorships from the public and business community to facilitate sport and skill resources.Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, who was also one of the driving forces behind Project Waterdrop, sent this message to the Jacaranda FM team: “The reality is, only once you don’t have water, do you realise how important it is.“Today we’re seeing a team drill a borehole to help with the problems we have here in the Cape.“It’ll make a massive difference to the schools involved, to the community, to all the people and to the broader Western Cape. Thank you so, so much to everyone involved, to Martin Bester and the team and to the listeners who helped. This shows again what we can achieve when we stand together as South Africans!”Several of the schools in the Cape Metro and West Coast, earmarked by this project, are LSEN-schools, servicing the children of poor, disadvantaged households, where unemployment and need are the norm.Contact the school on 021 783 2381 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.