Two-hundred new boreholes will be drilled in Sutherland. Picture: Gift of the Givers
Farmers in Sutherland can breathe a little easier after the successful drilling of new boreholes as part of a R15 million project to save farms in the area.

The Gift of the Givers project follows one of the worst droughts the province has seen. Eleven Sutherland farms were lost, livestock died and 56 farms remain at risk.

Gift of the Givers decided to step in to drill 200 new boreholes and provide 300 bales of fodder for the animals. So far, three boreholes have been drilled.

The drought intervention team was led by Dr Gideon Groenewald, hydrologist, geologist and palaeontologist with 35 years' experience in finding water, especially in the Karoo, and the drilling team of Martyn Landmann, led by “Smurf” made magic.

“As they drilled the sound of that ever precious, life-giving resource, water, filled the air with a powerful gush. On the same day a tanker carrying 40 000 litres of diesel, paid for by Gift of the Givers, arrived from Durban. It was an awesome sight watching community involvement in erecting all the tanks to store the diesel,” said Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman.

On Friday, five Gift of the Givers trucks delivered 200 bales of fodder and an additional 100 bales of fodder yesterday.

Ten 1 000-litre water tanks, 20 tons of bottled water, food parcels (sponsored by Shoprite) and new blankets (sponsored by Foschini) were also delivered.

Tomorrow, 180 tons of mealies will also be arriving (150 tons sponsored by Pioneer Foods).

Gift of the Givers’ Badr Kazi added: “The most important emotion expressed was gratitude, which people could not express enough. It was a humbling experience, for people not used to asking for help, receiving help. A great lesson in humanity, no matter your status in life, there comes a tim, each of us requires some form of help.”

He said he was touched by how close-knit the community was.

“The tightness of the community, made up of all sectors, farmers, farmworkers, other role-players, they really stick together. When our expert went in, the first thing he said was he would have said 'take my farm, take my sheep, I’m leaving'. But people have stuck there, their determination counts.”

Those wanting to contribute to Save Sutherland can deposit into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No 052137228, Branch Code 057525, ref. Sutherland. For Section 18a tax benefit certificates please e-mail [email protected] For more details call toll-free on 0800786911.

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