Gift of the Givers aims to bring temporary relief to drought-stricken Beaufort West

2018-12-28 10:14
The goodwill truck from the Gift of the Givers. (File)

The goodwill truck from the Gift of the Givers. (File)

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Disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers is expected to deliver tons of bottled water to the drought-stricken Beaufort West Municipality in the Western Cape on Friday.

The organisation says it has started loading trucks with bottled water at its Maitland warehouse in Cape Town from 09:00.

Gift of the Givers' aid comes as an emergency measure to assist the municipality, its community and holidaymakers, said the founder of the organisation, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman.

"Gift of the Givers has intervened in Beaufort West with R10m of water projects since November 2017, including the drilling of five boreholes near the Gamka Dam, two boreholes at schools and two boreholes at old age homes in the town.

"Hundreds of tons of bottled water have been sent since August 2018. Financial support from government will enable us to drill many more boreholes at very strategic sites to partially alleviate the water challenges until the rains arrive," he said.

Sooliman requested that all travellers passing through Beaufort West drop off some bottled water at their facility, which is situated on the main road and is visible to everyone passing.

READ: Gift of the Givers to unveil aquifer project in drought-stricken Beaufort West

Beaufort West is dependent on three different water sources, mainly the Gamka Dam, Springfontein Dam and Walker Dam, and 36 boreholes in six aquifers, and a water reclamation plant.

In a statement released by the municipality, it said the drought had taken its toll on the area and the municipality could no longer provide water to its people to cover basic services and needs.

"The town is literally on its knees to find ways to provide water to the community. Emergency bottled water in the two storerooms are running low due to the municipality distributing 14 000 litres per day, with each household receiving only 10 litres," the statement read.

WATCH: Land of Thirst - voices from the drought-stricken central Karoo 

In the absence of rain, only 27 out of 40 boreholes are now functional. The reclamation plant has not been serviced for the past two months and will be serviced this coming weekend.

This will result in many areas in town having no access to water. All three reservoirs are critically low and are struggling to provide water to the community.

The situation is compounded by tourists and travellers passing through the town.

Read more on:    gift of the givers  |  beaufort west  |  drought  |  water crisis  |  water
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