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20 Feb 2019
12:54 pm

Gift of the Givers strikes water in drought-stricken Makhanda


The municipality last week gave the go-ahead to start drilling boreholes as a medium-term solution.

Gift of the Givers. FILE PHOTO: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

A hydrologist with the humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers has found drinking water in Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape at his first drilling attempt.

The organisation said that Dr Gideon Groenewald, who is also a geologist and palaeontologist, struck liquid gold on Tuesday drilling at 145 metres into a rock formation which is conservatively expected to produce 20,000 litres of pure drinking water per day as a “very conservative estimate”.

Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaaz Sooliman said the drilling rig would be positioned at other sites with a similar rock formation where it is expected that higher yields of water would be found at a lesser depth.

“The aim is to drill at as many sites as possible to provide a sustainable alternative to bottled water – which is an emergency stop-gap measure. Dr Groenewald has supervised the drilling of 200 boreholes with Martyn Landmann (drilling company) for Gift of the Givers in an eight-month period providing 50 million litres of water per day.”

Animal fodder that was brought in on Wednesday morning from Howick in KwaZulu Natal will be distributed to various emerging farmers through their chiefs to bring relief to starving animals.

Sooliman said non-potable water specifically for animal consumption will arrive later this week from Gift of the Givers’ water warehouse in Maitland, Cape Town.

The Makhanda municipality last week gave the go-ahead to the organisation to start drilling boreholes as a medium-term solution to the municipality’s water woes. The municipality has also since declared all its water, except for Riebeek East, free from E.coli.

“The February results, according to the National Health Laboratory Services report indicates failure in Reebieck East only in terms of E. coli, with all other testing areas/sampling points complying, meaning it is safe for human consumption. Due to the high presence of E. coli in Reebieck East water, the community is advised to boil the water before drinking. Furthermore, the engineering and infrastructural services department was informed to remedy the situation with immediate effect. The situation is currently being monitored for any possible waterborne diseases.”

– African News Agency

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