The Star Early Edition
Precious water delivered to thirsty compatriots in need
Operation Hydrate lends a helping hand amid drought
PEOPLE in Gauteng have come together to make a difference by collecting water and distributing it to parts of the country in need.
Water distribution project Operation Hydrate has pledged to deliver a million litres of drinking water to drought-affected areas by the end of this week.
All of this is in a bid to help desperate South Africans affected by severe water shortages.
According to a statement released by Operation Hydrate yesterday, 350 000 litres of water have already been distributed to towns in the Free State and Eastern Cape.
The initiative was started by a group of volunteers earlier this month, following urgent calls for drinking water by many affected communities, with reports that some had resorted to drinking sewage water in desperation.
Scores of volunteers from Gauteng were deployed to Senekal, Aliwal North and other areas to distribute thousands of litres of water in bottles and containers.
Operation Hydrate co-ordinator Yaseen Theba said the situation on the ground was distressing and communities in the affected areas were desperate. “We can’t sit by idly and watch our fellow South Africans die of thirst. As civil society, we have the power to make a difference and help those in need when we unite around a common cause such as this,” he said.
“People have been queuing for drinking water. The joy of those who have been receiving drinking water is remarkable and humbling. Many have not had water for weeks,” Theba added.
He said communities expressed immense gratitude when water trucks arrived to provide them with much needed relief. “Water is life, and together we are making a difference in the lives of our fellow countrymen and women,” he said.
Operation Hydrate has called on the provincial and national governments to help those communities who have little water.
Private companies have assisted in the past week, with Mango Airlines pledging R500 000 to Operation Hydrate at the weekend. Shoprite SA donated thousands of litres of water and is offering water at cost price in affected areas. Others have pledged cash and bottled water.
The public can donate cash to assist with delivering stockpiles of water to: Operation Water, Absa account number 9314587739