The people of Beaufort West woke up to their worst nightmare yesterday morning. Day Zero had dawned on the Central Karoo town and the Gamka dam, which supplies water to the locals had run completely dry. Disaster relief organisation, the Gift of the Givers graciously stepped in to assist with food supplies, extra water and R6-million to drill to find a more sustainable water source.

In a post on their website, the organisation wrote:

Gift of the Givers has been very aware that Beaufort West was at a critical stage in terms of water availability as dam levels were dropping. The stage of zero water has now arrived as the dam water has dried up. 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.

Dr Groenewald and team were on site and commenced drilling in Beaufort West on 1 November. We have attained a yield of 220 000 litres per day. The procedure of drilling in various areas continues tomorrow as we target the delivery of 1 million litres of water per day. The minimum cost thus far is R6 million. We expect this to rise substantially.

In the meantime our trucks are preparing to deliver bottled water to Beaufort West with immediate effect.

We are looking at decisive interventions in Vredendal also as that area has been severely affected also. Gift of the Givers has delivered truck loads of animal fodder to Vredendal and provided Food Parcels to 3000 farm labourers in the area.

Corporates wanting to get involved in the huge water intervention project are welcome to contact us. Those wanting to contribute to boreholes and the provision of bottled water are welcome to participate. Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No. 052137228, Branch code 057525. Please send deposit slip to [email protected]

Photography: Facebook

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 21 years of journalism experience. Her motto - Travel. Eat. Repeat. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.