Drought relief measures implemented in Makhanda

Tankers have begun to truck in water to ensure a steady supply to people living in parts of the Eastern Cape’s Makhanda region

Two water tankers have been delivered by Isuzu Motors South Africa to the disaster-relief organisation, Gift of the Givers, to help alleviate a water crisis in Makhanda – formerly Grahamstown – in the Eastern Cape.

Gift of the Givers Director of Strategic Planning, Badr Kazi, said clean water was being trucked from boreholes drilled at various locations across the Makhanda municipal area to strategic points within the community. “The water tankers are playing an important role in getting clean water to residents. Isuzu has made an invaluable contribution to our efforts – we are very grateful for the use of these vehicles,” said Kazi.

He added that Gift of the Givers had also been involved in drought-relief work in Beaufort West, where the tankers had previously been used. Further, the organisation had received three bakkies from Isuzu, which would be used for various other disaster relief and humanitarian aid work across South Africa. “The bakkies will allow us a bigger footprint across the country, and will enable us to be stationed closer to known disaster areas,” he said.

Since February, the relief organisation’s team has drilled ten boreholes as a mid-term solution for the water crisis being experienced in Makhanda.

Gishma Johnson, Isuzu’s corporate communications manager, described the water situation at the university town as dire. Before the Gift of the Givers team had arrived in the area, the residents in some suburbs had been without water for several days, due to challenges experienced at the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works, which supplies water to the eastern districts.

Kazi said while the municipality was finding solutions to remedy infrastructural challenges, the role of the relief organisation was to assist and mediate the immediate crisis. He said that another ten boreholes could be drilled as a temporary measure.

Johnson added that Isuzu’s support of Gift of the Givers formed part of Isuzu’s strategic corporate social responsibility objectives. “We leverage key partnerships to bring about meaningful change in the lives of those affected by adversity,” she said. “Our vehicles can access the most challenging terrain and we believe they will provide Gift of the Givers the necessary logistical support they require when responding to crises and natural disasters.”

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