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More boreholes for drought hit EC farmers

Home Agriculture More boreholes for drought hit EC farmers

THE Southern African Agri Initiative (SAAI), a network for family farmers, and insurer, Santam, worked together over the past year to provide drought relief to farmers in the Eastern Cape.

About 36 boreholes have been drilled in the Steytlerville area since May, with 23 of these successfully yielding water. The next step is to equip about 24 farmers in Willowmore with boreholes.

Despite the rains that have fallen in large parts of the country over the past month, the drought of the past few years is still plaguing the farmers of the Eastern Cape.

“Santam wants to be a responsible business and do more than just insurance,” said Hanlie Kroese from Santam. “We have a responsibility to help build resilient societies and to help stimulate a vibrant agricultural sector for farmers. The agricultural industry faces many challenges, and we want to show our appreciation to the sector with our contribution and support.”

Iné Bester, Operations Manager at SAAI said they had spent a lot of time in the Eastern Cape over the past year, delivering feed and food parcels as well making videos. “These videos were not only to show how much these communities are suffering from the drought but also to show who the people of this area are and how incredibly special these towns are,” Bester said.

“When our representative in the Eastern Cape, Bertus Griebenow, spoke to us about this project, we did not hesitate to get involved. No one knows when the rain will come again and in the meantime one must do everything in your power to prevent these farmers from suffering. At SAAI we deeply care about every family farm.”

Colin Wilken, a farmer from Steytlerville said water has never been a problem on his farm, “But in recent years the water table has dropped noticeably and some holes have dried up completely. It was an absolute relief when SAAI’s Bertus Griebenouw and Santam offered to help the farmers detect water and drill holes.”

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