The farms to the south south west of Aberdeen are amongst the worst affected by the drought in the region, and relief coordinator Burre Burger’s ‘Droogte Hulp’ project has provided a lifeline to many in the area.
For six years now, farmers Gert and Pietie van Rensburg have been struggling with the drought, and they have had to feed their stock every single day since 2016. They have lost more than half of their sheep and goats since the drought began, and just last week, Gert had to shoot two goats that were too weak to kid.
In October 2018 the van Rensburgs received their first delivery from Burre Burger. They share this bounty with 24 other farmers in the area, and make use of three different drop-off points. Each farmer who benefits from the donated load of feed takes along two workers to help with the offloading, and Pietie shares the feed out equally between the recipients.
“Burre calls me and tells me that there is a link of maize on its way,” explained Pietie. “I then decide whether to offload here on Herbousvelei or at the shooting range, and we meet together and I weigh the maize out into 50kg sacks.”
The feed varies, and can include silage, butternuts, grass bales, maize and oat bales. During this last year, Pietie has personally supervised the delivery of 51 loads.
“Each load brings hope and relief for a few days because we don’t receive any help from the government,” said Pietie. “Just when you are thinking there is no hope left and the feed is almost gone, I get a call from Burre saying there is feed on its way. Then we can breathe again for a few days.”
The farmers are all extremely grateful to Burger, and all those sponsors who make these donations possible.