Gift of The Givers Rescues Hospital by Drilling for Water

Photo by Anandan Anandan on Unsplash

Three weeks into Johannesburg’s water crisis, which has put tremendous strain on hospitals amid the pandemic, Gift of the Givers have said they will drill for water at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital.

“Having delivered bottled water on 28 and 31 May, Gift of the Givers drilling teams will be arriving at the hospital shortly, having been granted permission by the management and infrastructure team to drill for water,” said Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of the non-governmental disaster response organisation, the largest African one on the continent.

According to the Daily Maverick, Johannesburg Water’s infrastructure woes are the consequence of years of chronic under-funding. In its business plan for the year, the entity has “has an infrastructure renewal backlog of approximately R19.9-billion as a result of underfunding, which has also led to having 25% of the asset base (reservoirs, towers, pipes, etc) that has a remaining useful life of less than 10 years.”

Amidst concerns about knock-on effects on facilities such as Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa hospitals, Gauteng health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said that since last week, the hospitals’ management were trying to ease the pressure on the two worst affected facilities by transferring some patients to other hospitals and performing some theatre operations at sister hospitals.

Hospital staff and management had approached Gift of the Givers, requesting bottled water, portable toilets and any means to augment the water tankers arriving daily.

Rahima Moosa is one of the feeder hospitals for the temporarily closed Charlotte Maxeke Hospital and healthcare workers trying to work through a backlog of non-COVID patients between the second and third waves. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, said Sooliman,

“Add to that a desperate community thronging to the hospital in search of drinking water, clearly worsening COVID risk,” he said.

Sooliman said a drilling site had been identified.

“Existing, defunct boreholes will be assessed with a view to resuscitating them while drilling for new boreholes then pumping water directly into the hospital infrastructure using booster pumps and setting up taps outside the hospital for community use once the water has been tested and approved for human consumption,” said Sooliman.

Bottled water from companies will be welcomed while they waited for the work to be completed, he added.

Source: Times Live

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