After more than ten years without a reliable source of drinking water, the villages surrounding the Tembe Elephant Park will now have taps closer to their homes, bringing fresh water down the pipeline. Thanks to a partnership between the Kingsley Holgate Foundation, the Tembe Elephant Park and SBS˚ Tanks, the donation of a water storage tank will mean local Tembe women and children will no longer need to walk long distances and stand for hours on the side of the road waiting for the water truck to arrive.
“Humanitarian adventurer, Kingsley Holgate, reached out to SBS looking for a water security solution to ease the burden on the women and bring water to a creche where he was working to create sustainable food gardens,” says Chester Foster, SBS Group General Manager. “We literally loaded up a trailer and headed off the very next day to install a 25 000- litre water storage tank.”
Tembe Elephant Park’s Ernest Robbertse had been doing what he could to ease the plight of the women and children, who had to take the backbreaking daily trips to fetch water, by trucking water from a borehole near the park to the 5000-member community.
“Often the women would have to wait for hours in the sun, in temperatures that reach 40˚C, for the water truck. Many times, it didn’t arrive, and they would go back empty-handed,” said Foster. “Robbertse realised that trucking the water was not a sustainable solution in the water-scarce region and began crowdfunding to sink a new borehole and repair others, install a pump and lay ten kilometres of pipeline with taps at regular intervals to bring water closer to the homes of the community members. He just needed a partner that would deliver a water tank to connect those pipes and get the water flowing.”
Holgate, unable to advance his projects into Africa due to border closures, had been living and working in the area since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. A conservationist at heart, his project goal was not only to teach children at the Rainbow Creche and the adult community members of Tembe how to grow fresh food to nourish their families but also to educate on the importance of safeguarding the wildlife in the area and put a stop to poaching.
“The Tembe community is heavily reliant on the tourism trade that the world-renowned Tembe Elephant Park brings to the area,” said Robbertse. “Owned and managed by the Tembe people, the Park is the biggest economic contributor and employer in the area and an unparalleled community conservation success story.”
SBS˚ Tanks were pleased to be able to partner with the Kingsley Holgate Foundation and the Tembe Elephant Park to bring access to water to the 5000 members of the Tembe community. Since the installation of the tank, several metres of water pipe have been laid and new taps installed, bringing water closer to the homes of the community members living near the Park.