Of major concern is the condition of tens of thousands of animals as they are facing thirst and hunger in the absence of feed. Loss of animals is impacting heavily on the farmers, both subsistence and large scale, with major implications for farm labourers, farmers and the general economy.
It has been stated that farmers owe in excess of 125 billion rand to banks at the moment. Given the present expanding economic crisis South Africa cannot afford further job losses. We can’t save all the farmers nor can we save all farm labourers and we certainly can’t save all the animals; that is the reality of this massive drought. But collectively, we CAN make a difference.
The sight of dead animals having perished from thirst and lack of feed is not pleasant. This appeal is specific for animal feed. We have been informed that protein based pallets (6-8%) is the appropriate product and costs R5600 per ton.
Gift of the Givers (GOTG) would appreciate any support and advice on this as this is NOT our field of expertise.
GOTG has been inundated with calls from the public wanting to assist with the drought situation in the Free State given the difficulty in Senekal and surrounding areas. We don’t respond until a call is made to us for assistance as we are inundated with projects 365 days a year. On Friday, 8 January 2016, we received a call from Dr Zuneit Adam, representing the Bethlehem community and involved in a task team including local and provincial government.
- Several areas in an 80km radius are desperately in need of water.
- The 260 000 liters sent daily by water tankers is not sufficient to meet the people’s needs.
- Supplying water from the tanker directly to the people is not effective as the process takes five hours delaying the tankers to go for refills. More water tankers are required.
- Supplying bottle water only is expensive and not sustainable in the long term.
- Farmers are providing water from their boreholes at 15 cents per liter but they are afraid that the boreholes are going to dry soon; they have already reduced the daily output as a practical safeguard. A hydrological study is being conducted this week to assess if ground water is available in other areas so as to drill new boreholes.
- Jojo tanks are of immense practical value; four have been donated so far. Water from the tankers are pumped into these tanks quickly and the community then gets their supply from these tanks. More Jojo tanks are required.
GOTG has decided to purchase a water tanker to assist the existing water tankers, will provide more Jojo tanks, will pay for several boreholes if the hydrological study recommends that, and in the meantime as a stop gap measure will send a fleet of trucks with bottled water until we can implement the other more practical, cost effective measures. The Bethlehem Municipality will provide water at a subsidized rate of R1800 per tanker.
Massmart and Vodacom have already come forward to partner with GOTG, and other companies are welcome to join the campaign as this is not an exclusive partnership. The public can contribute bottled water in kind to our various offices or at Massmart stores in South Africa. Massmart management is looking into a discounted water price from purchases at their stores.