“Harrowing stories from children competing with cows for drinking water to farmers committing suicide, echoes over our barren land.”
This from the national drought relief effort Water Shortage South Africa (WSSA).
Whilst water is not falling where it’s needed or in sufficient quantities in 5 of our 9 provinces South Africans are rallying around and donating water across the country. Bottles of water are travelling by trucks and trains from south to north, west to east and almost every town has a collection point where water is donated.
Water, water via trucks to Sanniesdrift, via rail to De Aar, via the Round Table from Krugersdorp, Kroonstad, from Port Elizabeth to the farmers, 5000 litres to Waterkloof, from Elliot to Maclear, from Despatch to Komga, from Somerset West to Mossel Bay. The Bikers of Bloemfontein rode to Reddersburg. They had arranged Jojo tanks and trucks to take the water. Read more on their Facebook page.
This is the spirit of South Africa, where drought has long been part of the national fibre, though of course this is an exceptional crisis. Now is a time when absolutely everyone can help – by donating bottles of water and delivering at your local collection point, or by donating cash.
Water Shortage South Africa (WSSA) Drought relief have area coordinators across the country and all information is on their website.
It reads … “As in the case with most disasters, humans do come up with creative solutions and show compassion towards each other, not forgetting our four legged friends.
A wave of volunteers are setting up networks within towns, cities and villages to donate, collect and transport water to disaster areas. The water goes to a multitude of destinations. Each destination uses the water sparingly to meet their individual needs.
One example is clean drinking water in villages. As lakes dry up, mud mixes with the remainder of the water. Animals and humans often have to compete for this precious water. Donated tap water is being used in elderly homes for laundry and washing.
You too can be part of this exciting initiative. We need all hands on deck.
We do what we can, where we are, with what we have…and so can you…
Ways to show you care:
- Share or like their Facebook page where you can read about these magnificent water journeys and see the images of the hands-on response on the ground. This will promote awareness and drum up enthusiasm for volunteers and donations.
- Donate water by either buying bottled water or by filling up empty bottles you have. Find your town’s collection point on the website and take your bottles to the nearest donation station. There are also collection points via major highways like the N1.
- Mark bottles DW for clean drinking water for human consumption and TW for Tap/Tank/Rain water for sanitation or/and animal use.
- Make yourself available to either man a donation depot or to transport the much-needed water.
- Our international friends can help by transferring any spare change to family or friends here in SA. The money can be used to fund transport to disaster areas or hire trucks to transport water to the people/animals who need it most.
If you would like to make a donation to the thirsty humans and animals – thank you. Here are the banking details:
- Account Name: ERASMUS & KIE TRUST ACC
- Bank: Standard Bank
- Branch Code: 055 435
- Account Number: 040 254 763
- Reference: WSSA & your name
As you know with rain, it comes and it goes. So even if it does rain in one of the drought stricken areas, the water depletes and the cycles continues. Please keep in mind, that it is tough for anybody to ask for help. So many places do not want to ask or give details that can be published. The best thing to do is to find a contact in the town that you would like to adopt/help and speak with them directly. Remember the animal shelters, care homes, hospitals, farms, informal settlements and local residents. Exclude nobody from your generosity.
Here is a list of places we know of that need water:
- Aliwal North
- Lady Grey
- Mtwaku, Nquamakwe (20km from Butterworth) People in these villages have been suffering from dehydration.
Holiday makers take water along
WSSA is trying to make use of holidaymakers returning home to transport water. Also bus services, businesses, transport companies and others…all of them volunteering. From here the water travels to DISTRIBUTION POINTS where the water is distributed to individuals, houses, hospitals, farms, old age homes, informal settlements, wherever need is. Some distribution points have volunteers that hand out the water and other places people collect themselves. Each town organises themselves in a way that works best for them.
Anyone can join in and help.