The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Masilo Malakwane

QWAQWA – The heavy rains that took place since the 28thJanuary in many parts of Maluti a Phofung local municipality have led to many residents, particularly in Qwaqwa homeless.Several homes, foot bridges and roads were badly affected and more families in the low lying areas were left stranded while their homes were swept away by floods.

The Gift of the Givers foundation, a non-governmental organisation well-known for providing humanitarian assistance in disaster stricken areas have yesterday provided immediate flood relief packages for 36 households that were badly affected in the areas of Mphatlalatsane village and Slovo Park, whereas 12 of them are being provided temporary shelter at Agriqwa building near Seotlong secondary School, courtesy of district Mayor of Thabo Mofutsanyana Malefu Vilakazi and MAP Masetjhaba Mosia Lakaje.

The goods packages included bags of maize meal, as well as flour, beans, sugar, tea, tinned fish and cooking oil. The hygiene packs included toothpaste, bath soap and petroleum jelly, among other items. Responding to the reach-out call made by district coordinator Sthembiso Mthombeni, the foundation Liaison officer in Kwazulu Natal offices, Ms Hlengiwe Nkwanyana said they received an email from Mthombeni’s office requesting the humanitarian aid.

“We relayed the communique to the management to evaluate the authenticity of the requisition, and  indeed it was legit hence they reacted swiftly and gave us the go ahead. It is our mandate to respond quickly and reach out to communities in cases of disaster because we know they come up with a lot of distress”.

Disaster Management Coordinator Sthembiso Mthombeni indicated that should the similar case recur, they are ready to deal with the post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. 

“We have identified several centres that we can utilise as temporary shelter should we encounter a similar situation in all six local municipalities. We have intensified our joint partnership with other various Non-profit organisations such as Gift of the Givers and Red Gross amongst others as part of flood relief efforts to offer assistance to households ravaged by floods.” said Mthombeni. 

In a pressing need that arose for victim’s allocation of sites, Mthombeni further stated that the municipality is working hand in hand with the House of Traditional leaders, private sector and religious organizations in an effort to allocate floods victims a portion of land to restructure their homes.

Relebohile Ranyakane, (23),of Mphatlalatsane village now temporarily sheltered in Agriqwa building conveyed her gratitude towards the municipality’s efforts and Gift of the Givers for their humanitarian support, “We highly appreciate it. Our plea from our municipality is to come up with alternatives for us to have back the land to get back to work,” she said.