Giv­ing the gift of wa­ter to Beau­fort West

Cape Argus - - NEWS -

THE Gift of the Givers is em­bark­ing on a R6 mil­lion in­ter­ven­tion project to give re­lief in the Beau­fort West wa­ter cri­sis.

Founder Im­tiaz Sooli­man said the foun­da­tion has been very aware of the wa­ter cri­sis in the area.

“We had al­ready em­barked on a cri­sis in­ter­ven­tion plan and had brought in a spe­cial­ist hy­drol­o­gist, Dr Gideon Groe­newald, to study the pos­si­bil­ity of ac­cess­ing un­der­ground aquifers, drill bore­holes and in­ves­ti­gate the pos­si­bil­ity of pump­ing wa­ter into the dam,” he said.

Groe­newald and his team were on site and be­gan drilling in Beau­fort West early this month.

Sooli­man said they had at­tained a yield of 220 000 litres a day.

“The pro­ce­dure of drilling in var­i­ous ar­eas con­tin­ues to­mor­row as we tar­get the de­liv­ery of 1 mil­lion litres of wa­ter a day. The min­i­mum cost thus far is R6 mil­lion. We ex­pect this to rise sub­stan­tially.”

Mean­while, trucks are pre­par­ing to de­liver bot­tled wa­ter to Beau­fort West.

Sooli­man said they were look­ing at de­ci­sive in­ter­ven­tions in Vre­den­dal also, as that area too has been se­verely af­fected.

An­ton James-Brent Styan, the spokesper­son for the MEC of lo­cal gov­ern­ment, en­vi­ron­men­tal af­fairs and de­vel­op­ment plan­ning, said Beau­fort West had not reached a “day zero” sit­u­a­tion.

“The town has sim­ply run out of sur­face wa­ter. It must be noted that the town re­lies mainly on ground­wa­ter and a recla­ma­tion plant for its wa­ter. This has been the case for some time,” he said.

Styan said Beau­fort West was one of five ar­eas in the Western Cape worst af­fected by the drought.

The other four are Kan­na­land, the City of Cape Town, Bi­tou and Knysna.

WE HAD AL­READY EM­BARKED ON A CRI­SIS IN­TER­VEN­TION PLAN AND BROUGHT IN A HY­DROL­O­GIST

PIC­TURE: LEON LESTRADE

DRY: The Gamka dam out­side Beau­fort West is com­pletely empty af­ter no rail in the area since 2010.

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