Home » Environment » South Africa’s biggest water drive about to launch

South Africa’s biggest water drive about to launch

The country’s biggest Water Drive is set to launch on 29 January at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg. PHOTO: Supplied

The country’s biggest Water Drive is set to launch on 29 January at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg. PHOTO: Supplied

With South Africa facing the worst drought in 100 years, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Operation Hydrate and Proudly South African are joining forces to launch the country’s biggest Water Drive on 29 January. Yaseen Theba, spokesperson for Operation Hydrate, says the drive will be held from 29 to 31 January and the public and corporates are invited to drop off sealed five litre bottles of drinking water at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

Theba says 2015 has been recorded as the driest year on record with dams and rivers continuing to recede, taps running dry and recent weeks have seen record breaking temperatures claiming several lives. He says over three million litres of urgently needed drinking water has been collected and distributed to drought ravaged communities in various provinces but is unfortunately not enough.

“Operation Hydrate volunteers have been out in full force over recent weeks supplying drinking water to communities where taps have run dry. While we work on long-term strategies for drought relief and water provision, we can’t ignore immediate needs of South Africans dying of thirst. We need to continue to join hands to ensure we get water to where it’s most needed,” says Theba.

Leslie Sedibe, CEO for Proudly SA, says they are appealing to the public, businesses, corporates and schools to participate in the drive by visiting the Nelson Mandela Foundation and donating water or funds to the efforts. He says those who are too far to travel to the foundation can make financial contributions towards Operation Hydrate.

“We are calling on South Africans to again be of service to humanity and respond to basic needs of fellow South Africans. We cannot, in good conscience, sit back and do nothing when people are dying of thirst,” he says.

Yusuf Abramjee, volunteer for Operation Hydrate, says a local water company will be selling bottles of water on site at cost price for those visiting the foundation on the day to contribute to this cause. He says they are urging the public to come out in thousands to the foundation bringing water and/or cash to buy water for those in need.

Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, says Operation Hydrate is a call for all to respond to keeping Nelson Mandela’s legacy alive. “We know it’s a small gesture but every drop counts to help destitute communities who have no drinking water. This is precisely the call Madiba made when he said ‘it is in your hands’,” he says.