Water, water not everywhere


Even with the soaking rains, many areas of South Africa are struggling with ongoing drought.

On Saturday July 9, Fish Hoek resident Kate Parr took part in the first delivery of collected water for Water Shortages South Africa (WSSA).

The water had been collected in Fish Hoek by other residents like herself, and on Saturday these donations were collected and taken to a warehouse in Stikland where water is sorted, batched and packed for loading onto trucks.

“Fish Hoek’s population is approximately 11 890 and only three people made themselves available to assist with the loading of bakkies,” Kate said. “There were two bakkies at our disposal – a private one belonging to Werner Thornton-Bekker and a company one, kindly loaned to us by Francois van Eeden, owner of five Interiors – thanks to both of you.”

She said loading went surprisingly quickly and volunteers had time to enjoy a cup of coffee and rusks sponsored by a local supermarket.

Then their trip of 45 minutes to Stikland started, followed by an even quicker offloading session assisted by Deon Smit, a WSSA stalwart.

The return trip to Fish Hoek took about another 45 minutes. “With loading and offloading anyone willing to assist with this project is looking at offering approximately three hours of their time on a Saturday morning,” Kate said.

“There is an ongoing need for water. There is a bigger need for manpower – it’s a lonely task doing it alone and many hands make light work,” Kate said.

She says she has appealed to churches, schools, sport clubs, Rotary, the Lions, Round Table, police, the fire department and residents for water. “And I do so here again. Please donate. My home is a water donation station – 14 Second Crescent, Fish Hoek. Just drop off your marked bottles please. I have appealed to Plastics Warehouse and Mambo’s for larger containers to fill with water – I await their response.”

Pick * Pay, Fish Hoek has a trolley available for the public to collect water donations every day from 8am to 8pm.

Deon Smit of WSSA in Stikland, said the organisation was started by Caroline van Saasen, who noticed how many drought-stricken towns there were across the country. As it was the school holidays she made a plea on Facebook for holiday-makers, on their way to their destinations, to drop off water in the needy towns.

“All of a sudden, there was an explosion of requests for water. Then a Facebook page was started, and a group of volunteers took it upon themselves to get water to a variety of dry towns across the country. Volunteers have made their premises available as drop-off points. Water is kept until volunteers can collect it and transport it to a central store, where it is packaged, loaded and transported to wherever the need is,” he said.

“Currently, we have very few drop off and collection points in Cape Town, partly due to the fact that we do not have volunteers to collect the water and take it to our store which is in Stikland,” he said.

WSSA has to date collected 31 million litres of water, provided Jo Jo tanks and filled them, and, in conjunction with Aquadam, have set up dams and filled them. These tanks and dams are filled regularly basis. The need for water is still going to be there for a couple of months.

WSSA is appealing to the public and businesses to keep donating water. They have also established a bank account because they are starting to run out of volunteers and are going to have to start paying for transport. Banking details are available on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/924585607595490/.

The next delivery date is Saturday September 3.