Gift of the Givers plans to help the broader Port Alfred community too.
Pleas from concerned Port Alfred residents to Gift of the Givers were too loud to be ignored and, as a result, on Monday afternoon the charitable organisation made Marjorie Parrish TB Hospital their first port of call, delivering much-needed support in the forms of personal protective equipment and water.
When Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, chairman and founder of the Gift of the Givers (GotG), was asked how they found out about Port Alfred’s water crisis, he said: “We have been getting calls from the residents that there has been no water in town for quite some time. Apparently there is only two percent of water left in the dam. That is what we were told. We are not sure but that is the information we got from more than one source.”
Knowing that Port Alfred has a TB Hospital, GotG treated the report about water shortages as a matter of urgency. Sooliman indicated that Port Alfred was already on their list of hospitals to be visited and supplied with PPE but, after getting calls about lack of water in the area, they phoned the hospital which subsequently confirmed the matter.
The PPE donated by the GotG to the TB Hospital included 3,000 3ply surgical masks, 1,000 KN95, 200 gowns, 100 shoe covers, 10 boxes of gloves, five thermometers, five pulse oximeters, 100 face shields, 100 litres of sanitiser and 40 scrubs. They also filled up some JoJo tanks with water.
Sooliman said interventions in Port Alfred were already part of their plans.
“Secondly we knew that Port Alfred has TB Hospital, so as part of our standard we have been going to different hospitals to supply PPEs. Port Alfred was in our list last week,” he said.
He further revealed that they coincidentally found out that the TB Hospital was about to open a dedicated facility to Covid-19 a day after the donation.
“We said, let us come today (Monday), meet the management and see what the facility is all about and what they require. That is why we are here to bring PPEs, water and see this facility for Covid-19,” he said.
Sooliman also said they were planning to help the broader Port Alfred community.
“I have spoken to my hydrologist to see if he can source boreholes here,” he said. He mentioned that the hydrologist would arrive next week to assess the area.
He further added that they were aware that there are already existing boreholes which have not been used for quite some time.
“We can open those boreholes and make water available to the hospital and to the town. If necessary we will drill new ones. That is the project, but it is not going to happen immediately. But it is on the list because there is a queue,” he said.
Sooliman said they would have to use a borehole for the hospital and a separate one for the community.