When the Sarah Baartman District Municipality in the Eastern Cape, which includes drought-stricken Makhanda was declared a local state of disaster area on February 25th, Engen heeded the communities call for help and connected with disaster relief organisation, Gift of the Givers to offer assistance.
Reduced dam levels on the west and damaged equipment on the east has led to a shortfall of 13 megalitres (13 million litres) of water per day. The town has been without water for the better part of February.
In an effort to make a difference and boost disaster efforts, Engen Petroleum has donated 100 JoJo tanks. The first 50 will depart on Friday from Cape Town and should reach Makhanda over the weekend, with the remaining 50 arriving early next week.
The 100 Jojo tanks will be used at borehole sites for filtration purposes and at other sites such as schools, hospitals, clinics, old age homes and other distribution points where the community has access to safe drinkable water through the use of these tanks.
Yusa Hassan: Managing Director and CEO of Engen Petroleum says “Engen is committed to conducting business in a manner that is compatible with the social needs of the communities in which we operate.
When our community suffers a natural disaster like this one, we try and step up when we can. We channelled our donation of 100 JoJo tanks through Gift of the Givers to ensure that the tanks are used to the best possible effect during this time of natural disaster,” he adds.
The Makhanda Local Municipality has given the green light to for Gift of the Givers to start drilling boreholes as a medium-term solution to the Makhanda water crisis.
Gift of the Givers have also arranged for trucks to deliver water to residents after taps in some parts of the town had run dry, as well as brought in a second drilling rig into the town. Trucks are set to deliver 360 pallets of water.
Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman of Gift of Givers, says that in spite of the mounting challenges in the face of no rain and limited functional water treatment plants, Gift of the Givers is optimistic that it would achieve a substantial measure of success in assisting Makhanda, thanks to the numerous corporate companies and NGO’s that have stepped in to assist.