Drought-stricken Little Karoo farmers receive humanitarian aid

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About 150 farmers and their workers from Ladismith in the Little Karoo have received drought and humanitarian assistance.

South African Water Warriors facilitated the transportation of donations, which include 150 lucerne bales, 15 tonnes of maize, one-ton potatoes, 30-ton water, about R70 000 groceries and R15 000 diesel.

With no decent rain the past seven years in the region, many farmers opted out of the sector. Others have dipped into their savings to keep going.

But life for the farmers, their workers, livestock and crops has been an ongoing battle. Farm worker, Berenice Zimba, says they are struggling to survive.

“The drought affects us a lot. We had to go look for food for the animals. And if there’s money, go buy food for the animals.”

Farmer Gordon Waring says in his 16 years of farming in Ladismith, times have never been this tough. He says the donations are a much-needed reprieve.

“I think it’s actually fantastic that people come from all over South Africa to help the farmers. It’s amazing that they actually care and understand. Some people don’t even know where the food comes from, but these people are very kind and generous and caring and it’s quite heartwarming.”

A small-scale farmer from nearby Zoar, Daniel Joon, says taking care of his handful of sheep and pigs is a daily struggle.

“I represent Zoar Landbou Vereniging, the small farmers, here are 16 now today, and that 16 people I can assure you they are overjoyed because of this.  and please never ever stop this thing you are busy doing now, we really really appreciate it.”

South African Water Warriors Southern Cape representative, Pieter du Plessis, says the donations were transported by volunteers from Cape Town, George and Pretoria.

“They go with us on their own fuel, their own cost and go out and assist to get this stuff to the farmers.  And once we dropped it off, they mingle with the farmers just to show that it’s not just food and water we drop off or necessities, we care about them. I think that’s actually the highlight of our outreaches. The talk afterward with the farmers.”

Anyone interested to help with donations or becoming a volunteer can visit the South African Water Warriors Facebook page.