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Joyful cheers and ululation rang out in the village of Debrak as a strong stream of crystal-clear water flowed from an irrigation pipe, reflecting  the bright winter sunlight.

On 8 August 2018, the NWDC presided over the official hand-over of a borehole that was recently sunk on the farm of Mr Khupari Mpona, an innovative and ingenuitive farmer in the village of DeBrak.

The borehole, procured by the NWDC and sunk by service provider Mr Mvuso Baloyi, was the coming to fruition of Khupari’s first prize which he had won in the North West Innovation Competition presented by the NWDC and its partners in 2016/2017.

Khupari produces a wide range of vegetables on the family farm in Debrak where water is a scarce commodity. To overcome this challenge, he designed a truly innovative water-wise nursery, using among other, two-litre cold drink bottles for targeted irrigation, so that he could succeed in growing crops that could benefit a community at large, despite the limited access to water. His innovative farming practices earned him the first prize in the North West Innovation Competition. After careful consideration, Khupari requested to receive a borehole on his farm as his first place prize, which was then procured through the NWDC’s supply chain division.

Drilling was successful, in that the contractor, Vhuso General Trading, hit a strong vein of water after a depth of just over twenty metres.

The humble hand-over ceremony on the Mpona family farm in Debrak was graced by a number of key officials, namely Mr Molutsi Mothibi, Deputy Director Research and Innovation from the Office of the Premier, Ms Mercy Tumane, Director: Economic Planning for the Department of Economy and Enterprise Development, Ms Hantie Hoogkamer Manager Research and Innovation of the NWDC and Mr Benedict Masetloa from SEDA. Ms Hoogkamer and her unit were instrumental in launching and driving the Innovation Competition through the support of key partners such as TIA and the NWU.

In their passionate and motivating addresses to Khupari and other attendees, officials all spoke words of encouragement and support. Mr Mothibi from the Office of the Premier lauded the fact that thanks to the borehole, Khupari’s farming operations are now able to progress from sparse water contained in two-litre bottles to a strong flow of thousands of litres of precious water, instrumental in developing and upholding an enterprise.

Ms Mercy Tumane from the Department of Economy and Enterprise Development applauded the innovation competition project as one of the vehicles available to the province to create jobs.  Ms Hantie Hoogkamer of the NWDC thanked all partners and role players for their valuable contributions in seeing the borehole being sunk for Khupari, calling the water a blessing to the Mpona family and the entire community.

During the hand-over of the borehole on his farm, Khupari wore a permanent smile. He conveyed his appreciation to all role player who had offered him advice and support on this journey. He pledged to try by all means possible to him, to ensure that poverty is gone and forgotten. Thanks to the greater water supply made possible by the borehole, Khupari explained that he is now able to simplify his farming operations and grow bigger.  His future plans including the planting of seasonal vegetables as well as the cultivation of three variants of chillies which he plans to process into chilli sauces for the market.

In addition to its provincial partners who had demonstrated great support, the NWDC sincerely thanks the following individuals who have been instrumental in effecting the sinking of the borehole: Mr Brian Nkumeleni from NWDC projects unit, Ms Neo Mogashane from NWDC’s supply chain division and Ms Suzan Boikanyo from the NWDC’s research unit. The NWDC also thanks Mr Benedict Masetloa from SEDA who has been a great mentor to Mr Khupari Mpona.




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