Humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers will be sending tons of bottled water from Cape Town on Friday to assist the drought stricken Beaufort West Municipality. In the absence of rain, currently only 27 out of 40 boreholes are functional in the Karoo town.

Gift of the Givers Western Cape Project manager, Ali Sablay, says the servicing of pumps from the main reservoir which supplies Beaufort West with water, which is due to take place this weekend, will also result in many areas of the town having no access to water.

“We received a frantic call yesterday (Thursday) from the Beaufort West Municipality requesting us for urgent drinkable water. As by Saturday there should be no water in the town because the main reservoir that pumps water into the Beaufort West water stream has to go for urgent maintenance. It’s two months overdue and they will be forced to shut it down because if those pumps go, Beaufort West will be in a bigger crisis.”

Gift of the Givers says it has spent around R10 million on water projects in Beaufort West since November 2017. This includes the drilling of five boreholes near the Gamka Dam, two boreholes at schools and two boreholes at old age homes in the town.

Sablay has appealed to government for financial support, which will enable Gift of the Givers to drill more boreholes at strategic sites in the area, to alleviate the drought until the rain comes.

“We have pumped so far over R10 million into boreholes and other water initiatives into Beaufort West because we cannot sit back and see the people of Beaufort West suffering because of the drought. Gift of the Givers has always been there for them. And we won’t stop until the water crisis has been resolved in Beaufort-West.”