Soldiers helping Smithfield to survive


The assistance to communities side of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has been pressed into service in the southern Free State where dams have dried up.

A request from the Smithfield municipality via national disaster management structures ended up with the Joint Operations Division of the SANDF and saw a military water supply operation up and running by last weekend.

Lieutenant Colonel Piet Paxton, Senior Staff Officer Operational Communications, said a small SANDF contingent moved into the drought stricken town last Friday and operations started the following morning.
“Seven water bowsers with a joint capacity of 45,000 litres were dispatched to Smithfield under operational command from Joint Operations Tactical Headquarters Free State in Bloemfontein.
“Since Saturday more than 400,000 litres of water has been supplied to the local municipal waterworks. This water was brought in from two different water sources and offloaded directly into the town’s water purification system.
“The SANDF will continue with this operation until November 30. Estimates are that Smithfield residents will daily get 300,000 litres of water,” he said adding delivery of water in bulk to the municipal waterworks would ensure all consumers were treated equally.