With the metro’s combined dam levels currently standing at just 10.5 percent, Ford has donated R2.5 million to drill boreholes at three schools in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth).
The project also provides funding for the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber’s (NMBBC) Adopt-a-School initiative to address water leaks and to conduct much-needed plumbing maintenance at schools across the metro.
“The severe drought in Nelson Mandela Bay has resulted in the supply dams reaching their lowest levels in recorded history, with ‘day zero’ looming for local residents and businesses, which will have devastating consequences for the metro,” says Neale Hill, MD of Ford South Africa. “Ford has an exceptionally long and proud history in Gqeberha since starting operations in the city in 1923 and opening the Struandale Engine Plant in 1964.
“We remain committed to supporting and assisting the communities in which we operate. Accordingly, we have partnered with Gift of the Givers Foundation by providing the R2.5 million in funding for much-needed drought relief,” Hill says.
The Gift of the Givers Foundation is the largest disaster response non-profit organisation (NPO) in Africa and has implemented numerous projects across the country funded by Ford – most notably during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organisation is also well known for drilling boreholes in towns hardest hit by the drought.
“We are extremely grateful for Ford South Africa’s contribution to help tackle the crippling drought in Nelson Mandela Bay,” says Badr Kazi, director of the Gift of the Givers Foundation. “Ford has supported many of our community relief efforts, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we appreciate the ongoing support for our disaster response to assist the most vulnerable communities.
“These boreholes will make a huge difference to the local communities by providing them with water during the height of the drought,” Kazi adds. “The plumbing repairs will tackle the pervasive water leaks that plague many of the schools and only further exacerbate the dire water situation.”