Rotary project makes every drop count

Graeme Wright, the CEO of Ikhethelo Children's Village (middle) with the Rotary Club of Hillcrest's Dennis Wesley and Carl Grossmann.

AN R880 000 Rotary Club of Hillcrest project will ensure that the 48 children at the local NPO, iKhethelo Children’s Village, will have constant access to clean and safe water.

While the installation of the two water storage reservoirs only took a few days to install, the project has taken months of arduous planning and is the largest project for the year for the Hillcrest Club.

The two water storage units can hold a maximum of 220 000l and fill up using rain water collected from the roofs of the on-site buildings. According to Hillcrest Rotarian and project manager, Carl Grossmann, leaves and other solid objects are removed from the water using a grating system. The water then reaches the first flush system which fills up and only allows the partially filtered water to enter the tanks. A pressure pump which is connected to the plumbing network and it is here, before it reaches the buildings, that the water goes through a comprehensive filtration system.

The mammoth project will be completed at the end of November alongside a separate project where a borehole will be rejuvenated. The hopes among the group of Rotarians is that iKhethelo can the remove itself from the grid and rely solely on the rain water collected, saving the organisation thousands of Rands each month.

“We are hoping to have enough excess funds to convert the geysers to solar hot water systems which will also help reduce the electricity consumption,” said Carl. There are 14 geysers across iKhethelo.

“This is a huge financial help for the Village as we have more than 70 people living on site and we will save so much on water and now on electricity as well. The health aspects of it are phenomenal as we can sometimes go without water for two to three days if there is a burst water pipe somewhere in the area. Now we won’t be running out of water any time soon. A big thank you to the Rotary Club of Hillcrest and their partners for their time and effort on this project. If it was not for them, this whole place would not even be possible,” said Graeme Wright, the CEO of iKhethelo Children’s Village.

How the funds were raised:
What started off with a R30 000 donation from the Kearsney Striders to Hillcrest Rotary, was boosted to R880 000 by the matching of funds by Rotary International and the Rotary Clubs from Fordingbridge, UK, Winnipeg, Canada and Carlsbud, USA. “This just goes to show the power of Rotary and how we connect people and help others around the world. We are so proud to make such a difference to so many others with only 18 members in the Club,” said Dennis Wesley of the Rotary Club of Hillcrest.

“There is a misconception of how Rotary Clubs operate and we encourage Highway residents to join us. Rotary provides the opportunity for community service and fellowship to local men and women,” added Dennis.

Lloyd Mackenzie

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