âLivelihoods slowly crumbling to dustâ is how a Times Live article, this week, described the Western Cape water crisis. Itâs a topic nobody can avoid as it dominates newswires around the globe, even as far afield as the USA, with the New York Times headline reading âDangerously Low on Water, Cape Town Now Faces Day Zeroâ.
The province is gripped by such severe drought that Cape Town dam levels have fallen to 25.9% of their total capacity. Should this fall to the critical 13.5% level â which local government predict could happen by mid-June â water supply to most of the cityâs taps will be turned off.
Health experts fear the worst, as dehydration and basic hygiene take a backseat, and the incidence of deadly bacterial infection rises. âThis is the season where the germs have a way of propagating and spreading,â the cityâs health manager, Virginia De Azevedo, told a press briefing on Monday.
Familiar with the far-reaching implications that a lack of access to safe, clean water can create, Joint Aid Management (JAM) International, one of the countryâs longest-running NGOs, will begin drilling water wells in the area.
âJAM is dedicated to providing clean drinking water as a vital part of its work within African communities. We established our Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Programme in 2001 to address the chronic need and shortage of clean drinking water on the continent, as well as to provide training needed to educate local communities in basic health and sanitation practices.â says JAM Vice President of Marketing, Jackie Vorster.
Water affects everything in life and is of such importance that the United Nations has declared, âThe right to clean drinking water is essential to the realisation of all other rights.â
Our approach involves collaboration and partnership with local government to ensure
aligned strategies for sustainable community development. As such our team engages
with both government officials and community member and together we conduct pre-assessments to identify and target areas most in need.
JAM has already brought clean water, sanitation and hygiene training to thousands of people in South Africa, South Sudan, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe through the drilling of close to 3,000 water wells.
As a donor driven NGO, JAM is appealing to both corporates and individuals for their support in bringing much needed relief to the Western Cape. While JAM has all of the latest drilling equipment and a highly skilled team, we need participation and donor support to do the work that ensures people have access to a reliable source of safe, clean drinking water.
For more information contact JAM Global Donor Relations Manager, Burton Moonsamy
Office: (+27) 11 548 3900
Cell: (+27) 79 514 8443
Virginia De Azevedo Media Briefing