By Al Qalam Correspondent
A Durban-based non-profit women’s organisation is poised to undertake a mammoth water distribution project in the drought-stricken Eastern Cape, thanks to a donation of more than R786 000 by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT) for the purchase of an eight-ton distribution truck and tanks.
Addressing a function to mark the official hand-over of the new vehicle, SAMCT representative, Gaf Osman, said: “The Caring Sisters Network (CSN) is to be roundly applauded for recognising the disaster on our province’s doorstep and acting to assist a neighbouring province in acute distress.”
The CSN – a division of the South African Muslim Network – focuses on disaster relief and management, education and the empowerment of the youth and women.
“The CSN works tirelessly in delivering feeding schemes, boreholes and township upliftment projects, and is widely known and greatly appreciated for its selfless endeavours. It sets out to make a difference wherever and whenever it is able and has in its ranks individuals who not only care, but who are motivated to act in the interests of neighbouring communities in dire straits,” Osman added.
The water shortage in the Eastern Cape has reached emergency levels, with the province’s seven million people suffering years of drought said Osman who described the situation as “a crisis of epic proportions.”
He stressed: “We should all do well to realise that South Africa is a water-stressed country and that we have a responsibility to treat life-giving water as a scarce resource. The Eastern Cape situation is a demonstration of just how fragile that resource is. The CSN has recognised this and chosen to intervene by introducing a water distribution service in this hard-hit region. However, as a non-profit, non-Government organization, it faces monumental financial constraints. It has shown the will, desire and human resources to intervene, but not the means.”
The organisation’s intention is to assist in reducing the impact of the water crisis on needy Port Elizabeth communities.
Responding, Osman said: “The organisation has lacked the means to transport and distribute water in quantities that would help make a real and telling difference in the lives of the province’s drought victims. We, of the SAMCT are all too aware that capital expenditure on big ticket items, such as vehicles, is simply beyond the means of most non-profit bodies in this country.”
“Accordingly and upon learning of the CSN’s plans to intercede in the Eastern Cape’s water crisis, we were only too pleased to donate R786 237 for the purchase of an eight-ton water distribution truck capable of carrying 6 000 litres of life-giving water in tanks per load, thus enabling the organisation to bring to fruition its most laudable water distribution project.”
The SAMCT was established in 2008 to provide funding, services and other resources for the improvement of the lives of the vulnerable, deprived and disadvantaged. It has successfully delivered sizeable assistance solutions throughout the country, irrespective of race or religion and works to support needy organisations in the fields of social development, poverty alleviation, education and health.
“Importantly, when not being employed on critical water distribution missions, the tanks may be removed from our donated vehicle, providing an appropriate platform for the large-scale distribution of food hampers to those in need.”
“On behalf of the SAMCT, I wish you of the CSN every success as you embark on the daunting task of taking water to the Eastern Cape’s drought victims within needy Port Elizabeth communities. Rest assured, these communities will be eternally grateful to you for your concern for their welfare and thankful of a caring neighbouring province’s intervention.”