With the impact of the drought felt across South Africa, one local aid organisation has made headway in the search for alternative water resources. The Gift of the Givers Foundation (GOTG) recently joined efforts to alleviate the impact of the drought in Beaufort West. The town, which is commonly referred to as the Capital of the Karoo, was recently announced as having reached Day Zero, where all surface water had been depleted. In a bid to assist the community, GOTG was called upon.
Founder of GOTG, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman told VOC News that various municipalities requested the foundation’s assistance, after which GOTG called in their specialist hydrologist, Dr Gideon Groenewald, who has conducted searches for water for 34 years. Dr Groenewald is studying the possibility of accessing underground aquifers, drilling boreholes, and investigating the possibility of pumping water into dams.
After drilling commenced on November 1st, unsuccessfully searching for the first few days, three days later, 2000 litres were found, followed by 12 000 litres on November 11.
“We have attained a yield of 220 000 litres per day. The procedure of drilling in various areas continues tomorrow as we target the delivery of 1 million litres of water per day. The minimum cost thus far is R6 million. We expect this to rise substantially,” said Dr Sooliman.
Given the extent of the drought, having impacted key farming areas within the country, Sooliman says that the team is researching other areas for the drilling of boreholes.
“That is one of the initiatives in Beaufort West. We are also looking at sending bottled water while the borehole business is going on. Every day we are getting messages saying thank you for freeing the animals. We also sent 110 trucks with feed,” he said.
“Shoprite Checkers has offered us about R500 000 in fuel, Kulula gave us R500 000 and Shoprite is giving us several of their trucks.”
As Capetonians continue to adopt savvy water saving techniques, Sooliman said that the hardest hit has been the farming communities, noting the impact on farming labourers who face unemployment.
GOTG recently delivered 3000 food parcels to farm labourers in Vredendaal who have been severely impacted by the drought.
“This crisis is a huge crisis, which the public doesn’t seem to know about, so many animals have died, so many farmer who arte on the brink of suicide, some who have even killed themselves, some who have died because of their anxiety, a lot of livelihoods have been affected…in the agriculture sector this year 109 000 jobs have already been lost.”
Sooliman urged residents to be consistent in their efforts to conserve the countries water resources remain aware that “this is a crisis”.
“The only way we can solve this problem is for all of South Africa to stand together because this is a very big problem.”
Corporates wanting to get involved in the water intervention project are welcome to contact GOTG via its website http://www.giftofthegivers.org/