The Gift of the Givers has been on a drive to help as many Eastern Cape communities cope with the drought; this week they drilled for water in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa (28 June 2022) – The Gift of the Givers, with the help of corporate sponsors, have upped their efforts in the Eastern Cape, helping the community access water by drilling for water at key points.
With Nelson Mandela Bay just hours away from a catastrophe, the region edges dangerously close to running out of water. A severe seven-year drought has depleted dams and reservoirs in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, thus affecting the supply of water to Gqeberha. Once the dams run dry completely, it is estimated that 107 suburbs, townships, and metro areas will be waterless within a month.
Due to dam levels being critically low, very little of the remaining water in the area is potable, and chemicals used to treat the water have been found to be harmful to children, livestock, and vegetation. What little water there is cannot be viably pumped from the dams.
The next option is to truck in water from outside sources or to drill boreholes at key locations. With the help of an R5-million donation from Sunfoil, the Gift of the Givers has drilled several key locations and accessed water for use.
Today the organisation celebrated the opening of a borehole at the Elizabeth Donkin Psychiatric Hospital in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
“Gift of the Givers announces the opening of it’s highly successful borehole at Elizabeth Donkin Psychiatric Hospital in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, producing a yield of 14000L per hour at this critical time of water shedding and shutdown, affecting in excess of 200 areas in the city.”
The borehole is at a very strategic site in the red zone, on a very good geological rock formation and close to the airport. They have also drilled new boreholes at the following locations:
- Alpha Primary School (Two were drilled)
- Malabar Primary School,
- Arcadia Primary School
- Rufane Primary School
- Jose Pearson TB Hospital
“Boreholes were drilled previously at Fontein Primary School, Republiek Primary School and Helenvale Primary School. These are going to be modified to allow for water spread to communities in the vicinity. In addition, we have resuscitated a borehole at Gelvandale Stadium and at the K9 unit in Forest Hill. Our teams, in partnership with the municipality have visited several disused boreholes with a view to resuscitate those in strategic areas immediately.”
For areas where borehole drilling is not an option, the Gift of the Givers continues to supply water thanks to the generous donation from Coca-Cola and Cerebos.
“Water augmentation will continue with a generous donation of 500 000 litres per day from the desalination plant at Cerebos to Gift of the Givers. Coca Cola has given us the first of three 35000L tankers for the process. The second one arrives tomorrow. Gift of the Givers sits in a meeting with the municipality engineers this morning to map out progress and further decisive interventions which include getting the list of areas where JoJo tanks have to be placed for most practical access in water-deprived communities.
Bottled water deliveries by our teams to homes for the elderly, physically and mentally challenged, and the likes have commenced.
We will appreciate communities pointing out springs where there is water runoff in the thousands of litres per day.
We will also appreciate notification of disused boreholes at institutions or communities and will assess viability.”
The Gift of the Givers has asked that people within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and Kouga Municipality help their neighbours gain access to water, should they have the means.
“Dealing with the challenges of water-shedding and shutdown in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and Kouga Municipality (which have also requested assistance from Gift of the Givers) can only be done with total co-operation from the entire region. Companies and individuals are requested to make borehole water available to staff and neighbours (many are already doing that), those who can afford to install boreholes should consider the option with a view to share the water.”
They are trying to address as many water crisis tasks as possible, even going out to repair any leaks at schools and businesses, to prevent any further water loss.
“Community members must look out for leaks in their toilet cisterns, taps and in the home environment and repair immediately as every litre saved today means water for tomorrow in a region where minimal rain is predicted into September.
Gift of the Givers thanks the city and its citizens for incredible co-operation, support, standing together and holding hands in a spirit of nationwide building.
There is no place for politics or ego, we are in a state of disaster and where co-operation, humanity, compassion and unconditional service in the interest of all our citizens is paramount.”
There is much to be done, and the Gift of the Givers is committed to helping wherever they can. If you would like to help them, you can find out how here.