Riyaz Patel

Humanitarian agency, Gift of the Givers, is en route to deliver emergency fodder to drought stricken Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape.

The KZN-based disaster relief foundation is expected to deliver eight truckloads of fodder to farmers in Graaff-Reinet Tuesday, following a request from emerging and commercial farmers.

The humanitarian organisation sent teams to the Dr Beyers Naudé municipality in the Eastern Cape at the beginning of October where the main water-supplying dam has run dry.

The municipality has been relying on 28 boreholes to service 3 392 households and a population of 37 670 permanent residents, News24 reported.

Gift of the Givers has already committed to three superlinks laden with water, three water tankers, a drilling machine, and has sent its renowned hydrologist, Dr Gideon Groenewald, to the area.

Groenewald will oversee the drilling of eight boreholes, with the first five boreholes already yielding about 102 000L per day, collectively.

“Too little water reaches the main storage tanks in the lower-lying areas to automatically let the booster pumps kick in to pump water to the higher reservoirs, resulting in water always being available in the lower part of the town but leaving people on higher ground completely dry,” Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said.

Most people living on higher ground are disadvantaged, he adds.

“The solution lies in developing existing or new boreholes; managing known aquifers; supplying water at a rate that exceeds water use in low-lying areas; allowing pumping systems to run effectively and fill high-lying reservoirs as a matter of urgency; and drill boreholes directly in high-lying areas if the geography allows that.”

In addition to fodder, bottled water, water tankers and nutritional supplies for children will also be delivered to the area.

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