CAPE TOWN – Humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers has stepped in to assist those affected by the floods in East London.
During the early hours of Saturday morning, residents in Mdantsane and Duncan Village woke up to water streaming through their informal dwellings and washing away their belongings and structures.
Six people have reportedly died, including a police officer who was conducting rescue and recovery operations at the time.
According to the organisation’s founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, residents tried in vain to salvage mud damaged furniture, clothing, food, dishes, stationery and school uniforms.
He said these essentials for day to day living are extremely difficult to come by in the current economic environment.
Sooliman said the Gift of the Givers team were on-site immediately after receiving requests from community leaders, residents, the mayor, deputy mayor, disaster management and MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).
“Such requests from government entities and communities has been the norm for several years. The communities of Mdantsane and Duncan Village have been assisted by Gift of the Givers on many occasions in non-disaster situations.
“Our teams were accompanied by COGTA MEC, Xolile Nqatha, Mayor Xolani Pakati, Deputy Mayor Princess Faku, Speaker of the Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) Humphrey Maxegwana and Disaster Management’s Joe Khumalo during our on-site assessment,” Sooliman said.
He said the disaster management arranged five shelters and ensured all affected residents had accommodation. They also accompanied Gift of the Givers team members until Midnight on Sunday as crews finished distributing hot meals and sleeping bags as an immediate intervention.
Sooliman said teams will continue to assist those affected by the flood and has urged people to donate towards their organisation.
“In recent weeks, the Eastern Cape has been battered by tornados, flooding and storms causing extensive damage in Mthatha, Raymond Mhlaba Municipality affecting Alice, Fort Beaufort, Middledrift and Adelaide and now BCM.
“Hundreds of homes, 49 clinics and three hospitals have been damaged.
“Gift of the Givers has provided substantial support, but without public generosity, many of the homes will be inhabitable, and the health facilities will remain in a state of disrepair.
“Contributions are welcome to Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, account number 052137228, Branch Code 057525, reference: EC,” he added.