While SA grapples with water challenges, a small NGO has distributed hundreds of mobile 90-litre barrels across the water-scarce Eastern Cape and is raising funds to sink boreholes in the worst-affected areas where residents share contaminated rivers with livestock in the dry season.

Swim For Rivers (SFR), founded by extreme swimmer Andrew Chin, comprises a small group of volunteers working with communities to help alleviate water supply challenges while extracting plastic choking rivers.

The NGO has distributed about 800, mobile 90-litre Hippo Rollers so far to rural water-scarce Eastern Cape villages to provide relief to women and children who carry heavy buckets from rivers and streams and has identified boreholes as a priority in the most desperate areas.

“We’ve seen villages where rural folk share water sources with farm and domestic animals, leading to contamination and potential illness (see video here). Centrally located boreholes combined with Hippo Rollers offer a solution but they’re costly and we’re calling for support,” said Chin.

Swim For Rivers has identified the KwaPhahla community near Mthatha as a priority. Here, over 70 households draw water from an almost inaccessible spring, polluted by dung and animal urine.

“The situation in KwaPhahla is unconscionable. Our goal is to raise funds to sink a borehole there before winter 2022 so the community has access to consistent clean water for the first time. We call on those who wish to help to contact us to help serve those who struggle to survive,” said Chin.

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