A new solar-powered borehole supplying fresh, drinkable water has brought much-needed relief to the small rural area of Engunjwini in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal. The initiative, spearheaded by the KZN-based Chevron marketer, All Fuels, and the NPO, Al-Imdaad Foundation, is a lifeline to residents in Ward 12 in Zululand whose only supply of clean water, according to the local induna, came from a tanker that visited the area once every two weeks.
The site in the Abaqulusi Local Municipality was earmarked for the development earlier this year after the NPO, in partnership with the Office of the Premier and the Local Traditional Council, identified a new crèche that had delayed opening its doors due to the lack of clean drinking water.
Now, as a result of the development, the Engunjwini Crèche is all set to welcome little ones for the first time this month. “An on-hand supply of clean, drinkable water is a necessity for the children whose families have been reeling from the ongoing water shortages in the area,” explains Zeyd Timol, CEO of All Fuels, the Caltex KwaZulu-Natal South Branded Marketer. “All Fuels is passionate about delivering critical infrastructure to help improve lives at a grassroots level and initiatives such as this one at Engunjwini speak to that purpose. As a Chevron brand, we are deeply committed to local socio-economic development as we firmly believe that corporate South Africa has a powerful role to play in making an ongoing, impactful difference among communities that have been historically side-lined in terms of resource allocation and development.”
Vryheid has been brought to its knees by a water crisis that began in 2016. Two years later, residents are still grappling with water shortages. Installed at a depth of 120 metres, the borehole has been fitted with a community tap outside the crèche to service members of the Engunjwini community. The social upliftment project has been warmly embraced by residents with local Induna, James Dube, saying that everyone is excited at the relief the initiative brings. Dube adds that residents from far-off areas arrive at the site in cars and even wheelbarrows to collect water. The initiative has helped ease the plight of more than 300 families.