Relieving Cape Town’s thirst

PRECIOUS CARGO: Talita van der Heever loads water that was donated by East London residents during the water crisis in Cape Town Picture:SUPPLIED

A FEW months ago, Cape Town was in dire need of water as the dams were running dry due to a lack of rain.
East Londoner,, Talita Vvan der Heever, started a social media campaign after she read about Day Zero that was scheduled for April 12, when Cape Town was expected to run dry.

However, Van der Heever took it upon herself to make sure the people of Cape Town did not suffer from the shortage of water by sending a WhatsApp voice note to hundreds of East Londoners, asking people to donate two five-litre bottles of water to be sent to Cape Town.

“I went to the bathroom, flushed my toilet and recorded it on my phone saying, ‘This sound of toilet flushing and tap opening is the sound we take for granted in our everyday lives, and in Cape Town this sound is going to disappear soon’,” Van der Heever said.

Her idea quickly went viral on social media and in less than 24 hours, her phone was flooded with messages, from farmers offering to transport the water on their empty trucks to businesses offering their locations as drop-off points.

Van der Heever said her phone hasn’t stopped ringing and she still daily receives hundreds of messages of support a day from people all over South Africa, including Durban, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and even outside the country from Namibia.

“Drop-off points were set up in each of these cities with the help of Gift of the Givers, a nationwide disaster relief charity,” Van der Heever said.

“I grew up on a farm, and farmers who that bring their products to East London return with empty trucks go back to Cape Town. empty. So I thought that maybe they could carry the water with them. We managed to donate approximately 800000 litres of water in total.” she said.


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