By Al Qalam Reporter
With Day Zero looming for Capetonians, the trustees of the Habibia Soofie Saheb Badsha Peer in Durban have swung into action to pump and purify thousands of litres of life-giving water from its private borehole on the grounds of the Riverside Darbar which would be then transported to the Mother City for distribution.
Thanks to a borehole dug several years ago– and the subsequent installation of an industrial scale purification and bottling plant – the trustees believe its water would make a big difference to Cape Town’s poorer communities who face being cut off from piped water.
The trustees have appealed to the community to sponsor water at R10 per 5l bottle.
Thankfully, a giant transport operator has offered to transport up to 200 crates of 5l water containers in an articulated truck to Cape Town each week – at no cost.
“We are very grateful for the gesture,” said Rashid Dawood, the caretaker of the Darbar, and one of the project coordinators.
The powerful bottling and purification plant serves as an income-generating venture for the Darbar, and bottled water is marketed by supermarkets at reasonable prices under the Natures Premium brand.
In an interview with Al Qalam, Dawood said the response from the community to contribute R10 per 5l – its base cost of production – was overwhelming, adding the water cannot be sold for profit.
Asked who would be responsible for distributing the packaged water once it reaches the Cape, Dawood said the water crates would be delivered to the trustees of Soofie Saheb Badsha Peer Darbar in Rylands, who would then arrange to hand out the water to the needy.
If you wish to contribute, you may contact Ahmed Soofie: 082 3998551 or Rashid Dawood on 061 0717436.
Many local Muslim charities have joined in the water distribution campaign.
Meanwhile, humanitarian group, Gift of the Givers, said in a statement that it has also embarked on a project to send huge consignments of bottled water from Gauteng to the Western Cape in time for Day Zero.
Day Zero refers to the day (April 12) when Cape Town will be forced to turn off most of the taps and residents will have to queue for 25 litres of water per day.
Gift of the Givers said the water will be delivered to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) military base at Fort Ikapa, Goodwood, Cape Town.
“All the water will be stockpiled in SANDF military bases in Western Cape to be distributed at the most appropriate time.”
The charity also plans on drilling of boreholes at hospitals and schools and the re-activation of existing non-functional boreholes.
“A key aspect of the intervention is the sourcing of pure, tested, clean drinking water from various springs and delivery of that in water tankers to JoJo tanks.
“A list of institutions in urgent need of water, including homes for the elderly, orphanages, homes for the physically and mentally challenged will be compiled and water delivered to them.”
Gift of the Givers appealed for cooperation and support from corporates, government departments and the public at large to “enhance its capability to intervene meaningfully”.
Transnet will provide trains to transport water from all parts of South Africa while shipping companies will transport water from Durban Harbour to Cape Town. Road transporters have also been urged to provide any space on their trucks heading to Cape Town.