A community driven water project started by the ulema was received with open arms in the Loeriesfontein area at the weekend. The community outreach project, initiated by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and the Darul Islam Relief Fund (DIRF), distributed the first batch of water to the Hantam Municipality in the Northern Cape. Several trucks left the Darul Islam masjid with 10 000 x 5 L bottles of water after Maghrib after the huge gathering outside were addressed by Sheikh Irafaan Abrahams and Moulana Abdul Khaaliq Ebrahim Allie.
Another convoy of 10 vehicles transporting about 60 volunteers consisting of men, women and youth, left the Darul Islam Masjid on Saturday. But the first phase did not come without obstacles.
“We missed the Loeriesfontein turnoff and one of our vehicles also had a tyre burst. This calamity did not affect the spirit of the volunteer workers. This was not a drive of convenience, but a drive to serve the community of Loeriesfontein,” said Sheikh Irafaan Abrahams, the chairman of the Darul Islam Relief Fund.
Each and every person per household was given 10 Litres of water irrespective of their age. Families had on average 5-8 people per household.
“People and children came with wheelbarrows to collect their water. People from the community came with their bakkies to take water to people that could not manage to collect their own water.”
“The camaraderie amongst our volunteers and the community was like one brotherhood, all serving mankind. All to ensure that all receive the precious gift of life, water.”
Water was also taken to the old age home, hospital, crèche, police station and schools, boarding schools. Shaykh Abrahams said the appreciation and thankfulness expressed by the community was phenomenal.
Abrahams interacted with a farmer in the Northern Cape, Nico Louw, concerning the draught stricken areas. Louw related that Loeriesfontein was severely affected by the drought and that there are periods where that were no drinking water for days.
“Drinking water from the tap was available from 7pm-9pm on several days. There were times that they were without water for periods up to 5 days. They are continuing to pray for water as the rivers are completely dry,” Abrahams explained.
The alim related a few striking moments during the trip.
“When we went to the toilets to relief ourselves, there was no running water, nothing. They gave us 25 litre drums of water to flush the toilet. We could also use from that water for wudhu, alhamdullilah.”
“The children said they were given bottled water from a Namakwaland bottling company. They had to take their empty bottles to school in order to receive drinking water at least twice a week.”
Abrahams said each and every volunteer had their own special moments and eye opening experience in Loeriesfontein.
“Youth, belonging to a local rugby club, said they will dedicate their match on Saturday to thank their Creator for answering their prayers and granting them clean drinking water. They would also include all the people who so unselfishly donated towards the water project and those instrumental in the distribution.”
DIRF incorporated into the Darul Islam Zakah Fund partnered with the MJC on the project, titled ‘A Gift of Life’.
Collecting envelopes were printed and distributed to the schools in the greater Athlone region, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Strand as well as inserted in all the letterboxes of the Surrey Estate and surrounding areas.
The municipality in Loeriesfontein pasted notices on community noticeboards and also sent flyers to the different schools informing the people of the water to be distributed.
The appeal is to sponsor at least one person with 10 Litres of water at R50. This price includes VAT, packaging, strapping and transportation. VOC