Labala Borehole

Since our first project in 2001, our collaboration with the Kalahari peoples has grown into a very happy success story. It all began because we quite simply wanted to do something to help those that first discovered and used rooibos. Living and working in the first world, has given us a privileged position in terms of our wealth. Although we are a small company, we have water, homes, a job and a little money in our pockets. Our Marketing Director has had strong links to Africa throughout most of her life, so it was no surprise that she wanted to make this work from the very start. And work it has, but, importantly we’ve done this with your help.

Labala Borehole

The story of Labala is one of those success stories; situated in Botswana close to the border fence with Namibia, it is home to around 35 villagers. A remote and inaccessible area, a hard 5 hour, mostly off-road drive from the nearest main road. Inhospitable bush surrounds them and theft and victimisation from nearby tribes add to their list of woes. Before we found out about this group of San, they had a 14km round trip on foot to the nearest fresh water supply. During the rainy season they could use the natural water pans (shallow lenticular depressions that fill with water, during the rains) but they risked contamination and disease as these are shared with animals. In addition, during the dry season, the pans become dust bowls. Child mortality was around 30-40%, diarrhea and associated dehydration being a big killer.

The limestone covering the water beneath the Kalahari was so thick in this area we had to drill 3 times and to a great depth to reach the precious water. But we did it and now the difference to their lives is incalculable.

  • The borehole is now right next to the village
  • Water provides a social nucleus for the village - women
    sit and chat doing the laundry while the children play
  • They have more time to make their stunning jewellery
    - which in turn provides an income
  • They can take the time to teach their children
  • They can grow fresh vegetables (we also provided a
    garden) which have improved their health. Especially for
    those with TB or malaria
  • They can wash, drink and cook, as well as feed and
    water their animals
  • Life expectancy is up, the water is safe and clean and the incidences of diarrhea are way down and no more water born diseases

With a little determination, effort and your help we can change lives.
Thank you from us and from everyone at Labala, or as they
would say ‘Mi/hui’