Requests were “pouring in from several areas for fodder and boreholes”.
HUMANITARIAN organisation Gift of the Givers marked their 26th anniversary with interventions to save farmers, farm workers, animals and livelihoods in the face of the drought crisis.
“Our trucks are delivering fodder to Patensie and Aberdeen in Eastern Cape today (Monday), Richtersveld and other areas of Northern Cape tomorrow (today), Mossel Bay and Albertina later this week. The intervention in Sutherland is going remarkably well. We have drilled 78 boreholes of which 54 are successful,” said founder, Imtiaz Sooliman.
He said requests were “pouring in from several areas for fodder and boreholes”.
“Within the capacity of our resources we are trying our best to help wherever we can. Sheep are so weak from hunger they can’t walk and many have died in full view of our teams captured on live television,” he said.
The organisation has been at the forefront of assisting desperate families whose loved ones where held hostage outside the country. Gift of the Givers assisted the McGown family in securing Stephen McGown’s release who was captured in November 2011 in Mali.
They recently lead the fight against the drought that has plagued farmers across the country.
“Our drought intervention commenced with the Knysna fire of June 2017 where, in addition to assisting hundreds of families, we provided tons of food for pets, involved ourselves in Bee Rehabilitation given that 22 million bees perished in the fire, followed that by fodder for elephants in the Knysna Elephant Park and for animals in the wild,” said Sooliman.
Knysna was in drought at the time of the fire. Then came the huge intervention for Sutherland, Vredendal and numerous areas in the Northern Cape.
“We purchased two superlinks and one flatbed truck and collectively using additional transport delivered 383 trucks and four trains (160 carriages) of fodder totalling R48.8 million.
“In November a R4 million intervention with boreholes saved Beaufort West. Come January 2018 and Western Cape was facing a massive drought crisis. Gift of the Givers delivered 300 containers of bottled water from our warehouses in Johannesburg and Durban to various facilities in Cape Town from where we have been delivering water to many areas that are water stressed.” he said.
They also delivered water at Karl Bremer Hospital which experienced a pipe burst.
“We have drilled 25 boreholes in the Western Cape in this period and are targeting 200 in Sutherland (in the Northern Cape),” said Sooliman.
He said Microsoft have now partnered Gift of the Givers to roll out “smart metres” to 55 hospitals in the Western Cape.
“These will redirect water to emergency facilities in times of water stress.
“Support in the form of fodder, transport, borehole material, fuel and cash contributions from corporate companies and the public in general will be welcomed to assist in this multi-million rand drought intervention,” he said.