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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Gift of the Givers step in to provide aid for flood-hit Western Cape

Heavy rains and damaging winds lashed the Western Cape over the long weekend with flooding reported across the province in several areas


As mop-up operations and damage assessments underway in the Western Cape after the devastating storms, humanitarian aid organisation Gift of the Givers said it has been inundated with calls for help.

Heavy rain and gale-force winds lashed several communities over the long weekend causing widespread flooding and destruction.

At least eight fatalities were linked to the impact of the weather.

Aid

Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said the organisation will be assisting those affected by the floods.

Gift of the Givers teams split into three divisions to respond to the huge deluge and flooding in the Western Cape yet it was impossible to reach all communities simultaneously. The affected areas are vast affecting more than 10 000 people in various communities along the N1, N2 and R60.

“Access is a challenge with roads washed away, bridges unstable, rockfalls and uprooted trees. Botrivier, Caledon, Riviersonderend, Hermanus, De Doorns, Robertson, Ashton, Montague and Ladismith are all cut off,” Sooliman revealed.

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According to Sooliman, the storm caused wide-scale damage.

“Formal houses are submerged, many informal settlements have been washed away, vehicles have been displaced and people’s material belongings have been destroyed.

“The needs are huge. These include sandbags, bottled water, hot meals, fortified foods, mattresses, blankets, new clothing, hygiene packs, sanitary pads and diapers, to be followed by building material, food parcels, stationery and uniforms,” Sooliman said.

Major incident

Meanwhile, Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis signed a “major incident” declaration to deal with the impact of the severe rainfall and strong winds in the Western Cape.

“I have decided to declare a ‘major incident’ for the flooding in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, Rasta Kamp, and other sites of severe flooding following #CapeStorm. This will free up more resources to respond. I’m grateful to City teams working non-stop and charities who are helping.”

Hill-Lewis said municipal officials were working around the clock to assist various communities impacted by the storm.

ALSO READ: Rescue efforts to resume for school group stranded by flood waters at Oudtshoorn resort

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