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Vodacom Foundation

Vodacom heeds call for water in Limpopo rural community

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

In some rural areas of Southern Africa, one of the familiar sights is that of women and children acting as water-carriers, travelling long distances with heavy containers to access water for their daily needs.

Responding to a request from its Limpopo regional office to help "bring water to the people" of the Muyexe village, in the Giyani municipality of Limpopo, Vodacom is pleased to have contributed to the alleviation of some of this burden through a donation of two "playpumps" with storage tanks and 150 "water rollers".

The playpumps and water rollers were officially handed over today to the residents of the community. Appropriately, the handover took place during the same month in which the country commemorates National Water Week (21-27 March).

The two playpumps are part of five others - two more in Limpopo and one each in Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu/Natal - that have been donated by Vodacom to date.

The Vodacom Executive Director: CSI, Mthobi Tyamzashe, says: "Many companies like ours have a responsibility to help, as far as they can, to bring relief to communities in their daily struggle to access some of the basic services required by their families. The fact that Muyexe has been identified by government as one of the priority areas in the region illustrates the effectiveness of private-public collaboration in the optimal allocation of scarce resources. We are pleased to play a small part in alleviating the burden, especially of women and children, to secure these basic needs."

The value of the donation is just under R500 000 and is part of the response by Vodacom's Limpopo region to the call from President Jacob Zuma to empower and uplift this community.

Muyexe is an impoverished area in the greater Giyani municipality in Mopani district, one of the most economically and socially disadvantaged settlements in South Africa. Poor infrastructure such as roads, water supply, sanitation and no electricity supply makes daily life for its residents a grim battle for survival.

Access to water is one of the biggest problems in the village. Currently, water is sourced from privately-owned boreholes, forcing people to buy this essential resource. To this end, eighteen boreholes have been drilled by the Department of Water Affairs. The community still has to go to the nearest village to fetch water or buy from people who sell water in 25-litre containers.

The playpump is a specially designed playground roundabout that drives conventional borehole pumps. While children are having fun on the roundabout, their activity also provides the energy for the pump to operate. The result is clean borehole water pumped into storage tanks while the playground roundabout equipment is in use.

The playpumps have been installed on the top of two existing boreholes in the community provided by the government with excellent levels of water.

The hippo water roller is able to carry four times more water than a bucket, with significantly less effort needed to transport it. It improves lives of individuals and families, saving time and energy, while improving hygiene and the health of the entire community, and making a crucial resource more easily accessible.

Each roller consists of a sturdy durable plastic container with a capacity of 90 litres. The container is filled with water, then pushed onto its side and pulled or pushed along with a handle. Far less effort is required to push or pull one hippo water roller than is needed to carry a 20-litre bucket on the head.

 



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