21 February 2020   26. Jumad-us-Thaani 1441
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Water is life – thousands of litres distributed free by Muslim community at time of crisis

The recent ‘salt contaminated’ water supply crisis in Port Shepstone saw the Muslim community rising to the need of desperate residents.

Sea water trapped in the mouth of the Umzimkulu River, from which the UGU municipality draws water, impacted on the water supply to all residents in Port Shepstone and surrounding areas.

The Port Shepstone Muslim community swiftly rallied together and spearheaded the distribution of thousands of litres of potable water to residents in the town, local townships, schools and hospitals.

Coordinator, Dr Ayoob Moosa Bux, said the Port Shepstone Business Forum convened a meeting and expedited the process of distributing crucial supplies of water

With a team of dedicated helpers comprising the business community, NGO’s and the UGU municipality, a plan of action was put into place to distribute the potable water.

“First we identified the areas where we could access water from boreholes and, Alhamdulillah, the four masjids in the Port Shepstone area have boreholes, so we identified those as the first sites,” he said.

“Subsequently we also made contacts with homeowners who had borehole supply. The people were forthcoming and helpful,” noted Dr Bux.

He said the community also secured water tankers adding to bottled water that was donated by well-wishers, some from outside the town.

“We also got in touch with NGO’s in the area and they were able to identify areas that needed water and we were able to get water to as many people as possible,” said Dr Bux.

“The first target groups were hospitals and clinic in the Port Shepstone area, and we went to service some schools in outlying areas that were essentially providing water to most of the hospitals.”

One businessman hired three 18,000 litre water tankers to fulfil the water needs of the outlying indigenous areas like Bhoboyi, Murchison, Kolombe, Jesus , Merlwood , Gamalakhe, Brittania, Louisiana and Saint Faiths. Further, he hired a tanker to see to the needs of the local hospitals. These tankers supplemented the local water authority tankers who could not keep up to the demand.

Another businessman filled a 2,200lt JOJO tank with potable borehole water, placed it in front of his store and dispensed the water to the public

Another businessman opened the borehole at his home for the entire neighbourhood - at no charge and
with no restriction.

Many purchased pallet loads of water and distributed them in the town and outlying areas.

A family opened their business borehole to the public in the CBD.

A business group shut down business operations for Saturday so their staff could help in distributing thousands of litres of water to the indigenous townships. The director of the business group also installed a water tank outside his business for free water distribution to factory workers in the Marburg Industrial District.

Schools like St. Martin de Porres - a school for the deaf and dumb - were also supplied. The Port Shepstone Junior Primary school and civil servants like the nurses working night shift at the local hospital were also given water at night.

Dr Bux, Head of the Port Shepstone Business Forum, commended the community of Port Shepstone for their contribution and outreach and all other role players in facilitating this noble effort.

He particularly commended the youth for their assistance.

Darul Ihsan Centre

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