On the 18th of December 2018, lightning struck in various places in the mountainous Karoo veld of Molteno, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Farmers got together to fight the fires caused by the lightning. After 4 days of intensive fire fighting, with no support from the local disaster management centre in Queenstown, the fires were eventually stopped. But not after some 5'500 hectares were burnt down to the ground. Two homesteads were within a few metres from being destroyed by the fires.
In the midst of a crippling drought, the local community is supporting the affected farmers as much as they can, but surplus resources are long depleted. Any form of government or other official support in the form of drought or fire relief, will take weeks and months to reach the devastated area. Support is needed now.
Imagine having to cope with a situation where 1100 hectares of your 1200 hectares are burnt to the ground. Your livestock are all concentrated on the remaining 100 hectares, which consists mostly of dry lands. Neighbours are assisting with a bakkie of bales where they can, or offer a piece of land for grazing for 20 heads of cattle.
Providing feed for one sheep for one day costs a minimum of R2.00. The worst affected farms are stocked with sheep and cattle to the equivalent of 2'000 sheep. The first rain is forecasted for the the first week in January 2018. It is estimated that burnt veld will take at least two months to recover adequately. Feeding 2'000 units of livestock at R2.00 per day for 2 months requires R240'000.
Your contribution will show these farmers that you appreciate the endurance and commitment required to continue producing food for the nation.