Following the onset of severe drought conditions and water shortages across the country, Operation Hydrate was started.
On 25 January, thousands of litres of water was delivered to Paulpietersburg and surrounding areas. Team Mango and the Dis- Chem Foundation pledged two million litres of water for drought relief in partnership with Operation Hydrate and Proudly South African. A team from Piet Retief volunteered to be a part of this great deed.
Our local volunteers headed by Mr M.S. Badat and his team took heed to the urgent calls for help. Vryheid, Nongoma, Paulpietersburg and surrounding areas suffered a great loss due to the drought that hit the area. Up to 57 million was raised by Operation Hydrate in one day. 68 000 litres of water was delivered by the Piet Retief team to Paulpietersburg on the 25th of January.
A door to door method of delivery was used. Three boreholes were allocated to the town. Arrangements for water tanks was made to transport 500 000 litres of water in one week to allow the town relief.
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The Honourable Mayor, Mr Maxwell Nxusa, of Paulpietersburg has shown signs of gratitude by repeatedly thanking the volunteers for assisting his town. On 6 February, 136 000 litres of water was delivered by the team to Nongoma. Wood Ford Vehicle Rentals came to their aid by assisting with the transportation of the water.
A task team was set up consisting of citizens from Piet Retief, Johannesburg, Kinross, Durban and Middelburg. Our Piet Retief volunteers have outdone themselves by trying to assist in the project.
The humanitarian aid offered was remarkable. Proudly South African has thanked and applauded all the volunteers and donors involved in “Operation Hydrate”, and is encouraging businesses to dig deep into their pockets to support the relief efforts. “At times like these we’re called upon to be of service to humanity and to respond to the basic needs of the people.
Among these are the promises of a better life and the restoration of dignity of our people, which includes basic human rights such as access to water,” said Mr Badat. We applaud all the Operation Hydrate volunteers from Piet Retief.
Their efforts show a sense of humanity and shows that they have big hearts and are willing to embrace the Proudly South African ethics and ‘ubuntu’. Mr M.S. Badat calls upon anyone willing to assist as there still remains a dire need for drinking water in many communities. He and his team of volunteers have committed themselves to doing whatever they can to assist in this initiative and encourage others to do the same.
How can anyone turn a blind eye to long queues of aggrieved people, desperate for such a basic commodity and human rights? Everyone can help, and should help. This initiative shows that many people from all walks of life naturally band together to help their fellow citizens who are in need of assistance.
Despite the many challenges we face, Operation Hydrate also shows we are still people of hope and humanity. “Ultimately what unites us is far greater than our differences”.