Soup kitchen runs dry after tougher water restrictions

THE latest announcement of the new water restrictions for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro has also put a strain on non-profit organisations and volunteers who need water to make food for disadvantaged people.

Holland Park resident, Helen Africa, who runs a soup kitchen in the Bay has become a beacon of hope for her community.

The current water restrictions, however, has had an immense impact on her generosity.

The Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip, announced level 5 restrictions earlier this month as the combined capacity of the Metro’s main supply dams has dropped below 20%.

Africa was deeply disappointed when she heard that only 50 litres of water per person per day are allowed in the Metro.

“Making soup takes a lot of water and I cannot feed the hungry people of the community with the new water restrictions in place. My water bill is already very high.”

The soup kitchen provided two pots of soup to the less-fortunate on a daily basis, but with the new implementations of the water restrictions, this is no longer possible.

“I now make one pot of soup per week and hand out some dry ingredients to the community. The water restrictions make it difficult to provide food regularly, but the people understand.

“At least they will be able to use the ingredients and make a stew.”

The soup kitchen now offers a meal on Tuesdays and hands out dry ingredients on Thursdays to the young and elderly.

The plight of the community prompted her to start a soup kitchen as most of them had no other means of income.

To get the project underway, AFFIDA and ASPEN came to her rescue by providing food to the soup kit­chen.

She is currently unemployed and receives a monthly grant.

She would, however, not allow this to kill her spirit of philanthropy.

“I am passionate about helping others and uplifting the community. It really breaks my heart when I see people suffering and the water crisis makes it even worse.”