Gift of the Givers called in to help after parts of Makhanda without water for 4 days

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Makhanda residents collect water from a Gift of the Givers water tanker in March last year.
Makhanda residents collect water from a Gift of the Givers water tanker in March last year.
Archive photo: Lucas Nowicki/GroundUp
  • Areas in Makhanda have been without water due to a fault at a dam supplying the reservoir.
  • Charity organisation Gift of the Givers has been called in to assist the community.
  • The municipality says there are now five truck delivering water to the area.

Charity organisation Gift of the Givers has been roped in to help the community of Makhanda, in the Eastern Cape, gain access to water.

A fault at one of the dams left parts of the area without water for four days.

The Makana municipality councillor, Ramie Xonxa, told News24 on Sunday that certain areas in Makhanda had been without water for a few days following the fault at the dam.

"I don't want to say without water, but there are areas where we couldn't get water to them, because of a fault at one of the dams. We could not pump water to the reservoir that will supply water," he explained.

Xonxa, who serves on the engineering and infrastructural services portfolio committee, added that the motor went off on Thursday and, as a result, the municipality organised trucks to deliver water to the community while the motor is being attended to.

As a result, the municipality says it currently has six Jojo tanks, with the capacity of 5 000 litres each.

In addition, the municipality had five trucks delivering water today - two from Makana municipality, one hired truck and two from Gift of the Givers.

A full statement from the municipality is expected soon. It will be added, once received.

In a statement on Sunday, non-profit organisation Gift of Givers said calls were pouring in after water had shutdown 100% in Makhanda.

"This is Deja Vu... Gift of the Givers was faced with the same barrage of calls on Friday, 8 February 2019, the same predicament and the same requests, which precipitated our intervention in Makhanda on 12 February 2019," its founder Imtiaz Sooliman said.

WATCH | 'We can't wash our hands' - Makhanda residents have no water for Covid-19 fight

He said the organisation had arranged that its water tankers deliver water in various parts of Makhanda since 2020 from its "super" borehole at Ntsika School.

"Today, in terms of an emergency response, a Gift of the Givers water tanker from Adelaide will arrive to assist our existing water tanker in Makhanda.

"Five JoJo tanks will accompany the water tanker and will be rendered functional immediately. Gift of the Givers drilling teams will investigate the pump failure at Wyenek and look at making functional the seven boreholes drilled by us," Sooliman said.

The organisation also said the municipality's water tanker, and another one being sent by the Amathole district municipality, will work in unison with Gift of the Givers tankers, all drawing water from Ntsika borehole.

"We will work jointly with the municipality to research a sustainable permanent solution, all depending on cost and funding availability," Sooliman concluded.

READ | Makhanda water crisis: Fresh hope as Gift of the Givers strikes water

In February 2019, the municipality had approached the charity organisation for assistance.

At the time, Sooliman said Gift of the Givers assisted by doing consultancy work and drawing up plans.

He said they drew up a rescue plan and commenced the process of "saving the city" immediately.

The charity group also brought in a specialist hydrologist, Dr Gideon Groenewald, to site and drill boreholes in area, "where the geology is very difficult and finding water a big challenge".

They then drilled 15 boreholes, tested the water, brought in a special filtration system, delivered bottled water, water by truck and "did everything possible to assist the community as that was the priority".

Sooliman said that, during that process, the organisation had "not received a single cent from any government institution".

"[The organisation] drilled boreholes, assisted with carting water and supplied large amounts of bottled water. The support provided during a difficult period was, and still is, highly appreciated by council."


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