Engen assists drought-stricken Makhanda community

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When the Sarah Baartman District Municipality in the Eastern Cape, which includes drought-stricken Makhanda, was declared a local disaster area on 25 February, Engen heeded calls for help and connected with disaster relief organisation, Gift of the Givers to offer assistance.

This was after reduced dam levels and damaged filters in the area led to a shortfall of 13 megalitres (13 million litres) of water per day. Makhanda (formerly known as Grahamstown) has been without water since early February.

In an effort to make a difference and boost disaster relief efforts, Engen has donated 100 JoJo tanks. The first 50 are on-route from Cape Town and should reach Makhanda later today and the remaining 50 within a few days.

The 100 Jojo tanks will be used at borehole sites for filtration purposes and at other sites such as schools, hospitals, clinics, old age homes and other distribution points where the community has access to safe drinkable water through the use of these tanks.

Says Yusa’ Hassan, Engen Managing Director and CEO: “Engen is committed to conducting business in a manner that is compatible with the social needs of the communities in which we operate.

“When a community suffers a natural disaster like this one, we try and step up where we can. In this case, we channelled our donation of 100 JoJo tanks through Gift of the Givers to ensure that the tanks are used to the best possible effect during this time of need.”

The Makhanda Local Municipality has given the green light to the Gift of the Givers to start drilling boreholes as a medium-term solution for the water crisis.

Gift of the Givers have also arranged for trucks to deliver water to residents after taps in some parts of the town ran dry. They have also secured a second drilling rig for the town.

Dr.Imtiaz Sooliman of the Gift of Givers says that in spite of the mounting challenges in the face of no rain and limited functional water treatment plants, the organisation is optimistic that it will achieve a substantial measure of success in assisting the residents of Makhanda thanks to companies such as Engen and NGO’s that have stepped in to assist.

Pictured below: (L-R) Engen's Seelan Naidoo and Unathi Njokweni Magida donated 100 JoJo tanks to Bader Kazi from Gift of the Givers to help the Makhanda community, with Engen CSI Manager, Adhila Hamdulay.