Muslim leader brings community to tears as he delivers food parcels, water tanks to Winterveldt
Pretoria - The community of Winterveldt near Pretoria was in high spirits on Tuesday when a man they've come to call their "Champion" delivered water tanks to community members struggling with water and sanitation.
Businessman and religious leader Raheem Nkumane is best known for delivering food parcels to the community in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but on Wednesday he delivered not only 200 food parcels but 20 water tanks (Jojo tanks) as well.
The Umveliqangi Winterveld Jum'a Masjid became popular when it opened its doors for the homeless in Winterveldt to prevent the increase of the novel coronavirus around Pretoria.
The mosque offered to be a quarantine site in case the Department of Health needed one in the area.
Last week the Department of Water and Sanitation in Gauteng supplied 180 more water tankers to meet the demand of water-scarce communities across the province, but many communities are still without water and basic sanitation.
According to the department, they have up to now installed 1 662 water tanks. This intervention, which was a collaboration between the department, Rand Water and municipalities, follows Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s appeal to prevent needy communities’ bearing the brunt of the virus.
Sibusiso Mthembu, Head of DWS in Gauteng, said the department was making steady progress in supplying water to communities, adding the delivery of water tanks would make a huge difference in deterring the spread of the virus.
“The present situation calls on us as government and like-minded structures to fight tooth and nail to see to it that disadvantaged communities are not left to their own devices. All of us must be instruments of change so that we provide protection to people who need us most at this time,” said Mthembu.
Nkumane said as the Muslim community they were committed to assisting government's efforts at "flattening the curve". So far the Muslim community has given over R2 million in donations to Winterveldt and surrounding areas.
"It is our faith to help those in need. Not just those of our particular faith but all of humanity. Water is the source of life. Hygiene is very important now. How can people wash their hands if they don't have water? We are trying very hard to help our communities with water. If we all work together we can defeat the virus" Nkumane said.
Community members were brought to tears at Nkumane's effort.
Sarah Skosana, who was the first recipient of a water tank, said it was like a weight was removed from her shoulders.
"I saw Lindiwe (Minister Sisulu) delivering the Jojo tanks on TV and I asked myself when our ANC will remember us, because we are suffering. When these men in the white dresses came, I knew I was answered. May God bless them," Skosana said.
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