Beginet visited the Northern Cape to speak to farmers whose land has been affected by drought for the past nine years.
Beginet journeyed to the Northern Cape to visit farmers whose land has been drought-stricken for the past nine years. The farmers are financially squeezed and had to tap into their financial reserves, which are already depleted. As you can imagine, they are in despair. There is a humanitarian crisis in the Northern Cape Karoo and Boesmanland. After nine years of a crippling drought, farmers have come to the end of themselves and their ability to find the means to save their farms, provide for their family, and pay their workers’ salaries.
We spent a week in the Northern Cape to probe how farmers manage to keep their heads above water during the seemingly never-ending drought, donate laptops to homeschooled children, and distribute reusable sanitary pads to girls in schools. We also created content to make a documentary to help raise awareness about drought-stricken areas in the Northern Cape, and how farmers are affected by the drought. We feel honored to have been able to serve and help uplift the people in these ways.
Beginet is known as a courier of hope. Any donations we receive from donors, we humbly and joyfully deliver, as efficiently as possible, to where there is great need. Our first stop was in Sutherland Hoërskool. We visited Sutherland Hoërskool to donate reusable sanitary pads to the 52 girls. It was heartwarming to see the smiles on the girls’ faces and their gratitude was humbling. We thank the principal and teachers at Sutherland High School for their warm welcome and entrusting us with their pupils.
Many livestock, especially in the summer rainfall area of the Northern Cape is in dire straits. Their financial reserves are depleted, and flocks cut to the bare minimum, with countless farms being put up as collateral for bank loans. It has become impossible for the farmers to afford school fees. Some have opted to homeschool their children. Most of these children use their parents’ cell phones to do research and other school activities, which is strenuous. Beginet donated as many laptops as it could to the children to help address this pressing need. The gratitude expressed to us by the children was humbling. Some of them even prepared artwork for us as an expression of their thankfulness.
Beginet also delivered food parcels to farmers in Garries on behalf of Save the Sheep, requested by Sybil Visagie. While we were in Garries we continued conducting interviews with various farmers for our upcoming documentary. We were deeply touched by a story from one of the farmers we interviewed. When asked how she is surviving during this trying period, she responded saying that she depends on a R 2 000 monthly grant from the government to provide for herself and her son. She said that the money barely keeps them going. They last sold a sheep in 2014, and since then, they have not sold a single sheep. At some point, the farmers’ tears began to ‘dry up’ because of the endless weeping. Most sheep producers have lost hope.
Every drop of hope has been wrung from all and sundry by the drought—the worst drought in the past nine years in the Northern Cape. Flocks of sheep have died, borehole’s have dried up, and some farmers do not have any means left to pay their workers and to feed their sheep. Some farmers have even sold their furniture to pay their workers.
On our outreach, we also realised that the drought did not only affect the farmers, but everybody from the drought-stricken areas. Beginet will soon be releasing a documentary featuring interviews we had with farmers, and what we experienced and learned during our visit to the Northern Cape. The documentary will help raise awareness about drought-stricken areas and how farmers are affected by the drought. Keep an eye out for the premiering of the documentary!