We started 2016 with all the ancient problems of the country staring at us. Color was yet again a big deal. Blacks were regarded as monkeys and someone suggested the annihilation of the white community. Racist remarks were reported here and there and for the first time, the different disagreeing fractions of our law makers agreed to enact a law that will help jail anyone who will in any way suggest that upsetting the nation.
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Albeit it’s as though the fierce drought has reminded us that we’re one and that the misery of one is a misery to all, such law wouldn’t be useless. It’s no longer news that the nation is bedeviled by one of the worst droughts ever to hit the region. Many small farmers have gone out of business, food production has declined, prices increase as the government declared five of our nine provinces drought disaster areas for agriculture.
While the South African Weather Services stated that the drought is the worst to hit the country since 1982, they attributed the cause of the drought to the extreme weather system El Nino, a natural cycle that causes global changes of both temperatures and rainfall.
As the distressing situation worsens, leaving communities in affected areas are desperate, the racially disunited South Africans rallied their energies and resources to help provide relief for the drought stricken areas, and it led to the emergence of a community organisation named “Operation Hydrate Initiative South Africa”. In a media statement, the organization related that “Operation Hydrate was formed by good samaritans from various communities, NGO’s, religious groups and companies, with a view to saving lives and easing the suffering of thousands of people.”
Speaking, Operation Hydrate coordinator, Yaseen Theba stated that “we cannot sit idly by and watch our fellow South Africans die of thirst. As civil society we have the power to make a difference and help those in need when we unite around a common cause such as this…People have been queuing for drinking water. The joy on the faces of those who have been receiving drinking water is remarkable and most humbling. Many have not had water for weeks…Every donor and volunteer truly embodies the spirit of being Proudly South African, with Ubuntu being at the heart of this relief operation”
Similarly, a social cohesion advocate and activist, Yusuf Abramjee praised the ordinary citizens for their extra ordinary act of kindness through Operation Hydrate. Thanking South Africans for their financial contribution, water donation, and resources, he related that “while Government should be leading the drive, we as citizens cannot sit back and watch the misery continue. We also have to roll up our sleeves and do what we can to help. It’s our civic duty – but beyond that, it’s in our nature as South Africans to live out Ubuntu and act with a genuine sense of humanity every day. Please continue to make a difference. We salute you, Abramjee added.”
Among the many aids received which are unfortunately, not enough, Mango Airlines pledged R500 000 to Operation Hydrate over the weekend, Shoprite South Africa donated thousands of liters of water, and is offering water at cost price in affected areas.
Operation Hydrate intends to deliver over 1-million liters of drinking water to drought-stricken areas by the end of this week. Meanwhile, about 350, 000 liters of waters have already been distributed to affected towns in the Free State and Eastern Cape.