South African non-profit organisation Operation SA, met with the Department of Water and Sanitation Department where they came to an agreement that collecting water and transporting the bottled water to the Western Cape from other province was not the best solution.
Operation SA Yusuf co-founder Abramjee says that they have been inundated with several requests from NGOs, schools, corporate and members of the public asking here to drop off the water bottles for the Cape Town water crisis.
“After a long briefing with senior officials at the department water and sanitation, and posing all the questions, we have decided that bottled water to be transported from areas [provinces] like Gauteng is not viable. We are talking about 1500km, if you take a bottle of water that cost example R12 to transport, it is dramatic in turns of cost and logistics,” says Abramjee.
He explained that the current drought is different to the previous one experienced in areas like Beaufort West in the Western Cape when bottled water was supplied due to the urgency and the infrastructure was completely broken down in certain areas.
“At that stage we needed to get drinking water urgently to people that were literally dying of thirst‚ and bottled water was the fastest option. The current situation in Cape Town is different. We must use the time and the current water infrastructure to plan more sustainable drives to save water,” Abramjee added.
According to Abramjee, the South African Bottle Water Association are having similar challenges.
“We know historically people store the water in empty bottles, in cool drink bottles or plastic buckets and that poses serious health risks. We were briefed by the department that there is no need for bottled water yet. If the need arises be will relook at the situation,” he explained.
He believes Day Zero can be avoided, if people stick to the limits together. Meanwhile, Operation SA are engaging with Miss Earth and other organisations on more sustainable projects.
“People want to make difference and want to donate, we don’t need any panic. Donating water isn’t a competition,” he ended. VOC