UGKA Support Team 427 (South Africa) in cooperation with the Lorna N Foundation pose for a group photo at a water dispatch center in Hammanskraal Gauteng Province. [Source UGKA Images]
HAMMANSKRAAL - with more than a decade of contesting with local municipal authorities and after having received countless unfulfilled promises for improved health and sanitation measures, the habitants of Hammanskraal have come to a point of desperation like they could have never imagined. Having suffered with subpar drinking water conditions for years, a record number of 15 deaths in just the month of May alone from cholera have sent the rural grain and cattle community into a frenzy.
Located within the Gauteng Province and under the jurisdiction of the city of Tshwane, Hammanskraal is home to a community in limbo often wondering why they do not/ have not received the standard of municipal services as its peer constituents. Provincial Parliament Figures and even the city's Mayors have visited the community from time to time to quell fed up residents with Band-Aid like solutions and no absolute cure. Water trucks and temporary water filtration systems have not proved sustainable for the population of an estimated 71,000. With the publicity of the Hammanskraal Water Crisis going viral across social media, the elephant in the room could no longer be ignored. South Africa's own President Cyril Ramaphosa delayed more weightier global issues concerning Russia and China and made the trip personally to Hammanskraal to get down to the bottom of the water pandemic long plaguing one of the Republic's most ignored regions.
A month prior, within the city of Johannesburg, about 1 hour and 13 minutes driving distance from Hammanskraal, several vans loaded with executive staff and hundreds of gallons of potable water, destined for the much deprived community. This echelon of assistance was led by a much different President however, perhaps one you may not have heard of but will in the coming years ahead.
"We wanted to live up to our namesake..." LaVell Walton said as he handed water to residence standing in single file lines while also responding to local news and media correspondents who asked about his group and their mission. "The UGKA is an initiative combined of African Diaspora worldwide who want to make the continent their top priority in all matters both good or bad, we are their children so if there's a problem at home with them then there certainly is a problem with us, we saw a problem at home, that's why we're involved." Walton is the current President of UGKA (United Global Kingdoms of Africa) a humanitarian and social collaborative of African Diaspora mainly from North America but based in South Africa, the group is on a mission to restore sovereignty to once renown pre-colonial kingdoms through non-political initiatives like education, technology and economics. Founded in 2021 by King Bunghane III of the Embo kingdom as a protege vehicle to reconnect the scattered Diaspora back to the continent of Africa, the group has since transitioned ownership and responsibility from the King to President Walton, Walton himself being of the Diaspora with lineage that has endured the trans-Atlantic slave trade and having himself originated from Seattle Washington. He was asked to take the reins of the organization by the King after impressing him with the fact that he made the effort to leave America and visit the King in person in South Africa. Within weeks the newly appointed President found himself leading a battery of royal cabinet members, ex-military security detail, engineers, water-filtration specialist and sanitation experts to a place he had only recently read about. "This whole experience so far has been surreal. When I first heard about the water crisis through a Tiktok notification, I couldn't find a better situation to launch my term with the UGKA. There were several barriers we had to overcome in order to get the greenlight for approval, for one my term wasn't supposed to start until September but I was able to get that expedited so that I could make what was happening in Hammanskraal our top priority, mind you there were other missions that had already been greenlit, budgeted and scheduled, as President I have the power to modify the Organization's Mission Priorities." Walton had much help in convincing the board that Hammanskraal was in a much more dire situation than sending aid to the high profile conflict currently happening in the Sudan, something that would have made instant headlines for the South African based organization. Princess Lorna, a cabinet member of President Walton and member of the Embo Kingdom, was able to express how fixing local problems first was more sensible than traveling hundreds of miles into a war zone where even communication could present obstacles. "There's a famous old school song that lyrics "Sweep around your own front door before you try to sweep around mine" the President said with a grin, "If we can sweep around South Africa's (our) front door first then eventually the rest of the continent will see our track record and be more inviting to involve us in mediating whatever grievances they are undergoing."
As of this reporting Hammanskraal still has an uphill battle ahead with the town's water still beneath acceptable standards and yet more promises stated to apply a final solution, promises that we will see in due time if whether they were idle words or vows taken to heart. What is certain is that the community is no longer alone in their plight, the UGKA and its President plan to visit frequently and dispense aid until the issue is resolved:
"When you're appointed to an office its because results are expected of you, the people of Hammanskraal have been waiting for results for more than a decade, all the tools to fix the problem are here, its just that priority isn't. 23 deaths in just this month? How many more will it take?