Please share water #WaterShare

A LOCAL #WaterShare collection point has been established in Richards Bay in urgent response to the plight of the drought stricken town of Vryheid, where the water shortage has been described as ‘severe’.

Bay resident, Leonie Scully, is locally spearheading the campaign by East Coast Radio and Gift of the Givers, aimed at collecting and distributing sealed water bottles to affected areas.

Speaking to the Zululand Observer from Vryheid, Exco Cllr Harry Heyns, said the drought has especially crippled cattle farmers and businesses such as car washes, laundry services and the abattoir.

‘Last week we had no water for three days.

‘Our main supply comes from the Klipfontein dam, which is currently about 18% full.

‘We can only use another 3% before the remaining water becomes unfit for consumption.

‘The Bloemveld dam has been empty since October last year.

‘We did implement severe water restrictions, but it is not effective enough.

‘We cannot cut the water supply, because the old asbestos pipes burst if the water is reconnected, which happened last week when we did not have water.

‘Some private home owners have boreholes and the municipality also has a few, but not enough.

‘We use water tankers to collect from the Hlobane dam about 20 kilometres out of Vryheid, to supply the hospital and rural areas, but the dam is also drying up.

‘At the moment we are repairing a broken pipeline from the Grootgewacht dam, which may be able to supply the town for another month.

Collection points

‘The NG Church in Vryheid is receiving the bottled water and have set up a distribution plan.

‘We are grateful for all the people donating water, some from as far as Pretoria.’

Meanwhile, a five-ton truck will be dispatched to Richards Bay to collect the water from time to time.

Scully says the project will be ongoing.

‘We will collect as long as there is a need.

‘For now, the water is destined for Vryheid, but the campaign aims to assist affected areas throughout KZN.

‘We really would like to make this project work in Richards Bay and Empangeni.

‘It is easy for anybody to become involved and make a difference in a time of need.’

Local drop-off zones will be at Spur and Panarottis at The Boardwalk Inkwazi shopping mall during business hours and the Richards Bay Baptist Church, Rooibosrand, Arboretum.

The Baptist Church will be open for drop-off on Mondays to Fridays from 7:30 am to 4 pm and on Sundays from 7 am to 11 am.

Watershare Richards Bay is still looking for a collection point in Meerensee.

‘Please visit our Facebook page and get involved.’

Ds Steven of the NG Church Vryheid can be contacted on 083 2317556.

Rachelle Breed

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