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Aid provided to storm victims

Date: 2024-06-07 13:51:44

Aid provided to storm victims

A delegation led by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Bongi Sithole-Moloi, and eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda visited areas affected by the heavy rain and strong winds on 3 June. Assistance has been provided to affected residents.

THE KwaZulu-Natal government is on the ground providing humanitarian support and assisting families that have been displaced following the heavy rains and strong winds that hit parts of the province on 3 June. The heavy rains accompanied by the strong wind wreaked havoc in different parts of the province, affecting five districts including eThekwini, Ilembe, King Cetshwayo, Umzinyathi, Amajuba and Umkhanyakude District Municipalities. Preliminary reports indicate that at least 12 people have died with seven of them from oThongathi.

The other four fatalities were reported in Nquthu, Eshowe, and KwaHlabisa respectively. Over 55 people suffered minor to moderate injuries and are receiving medical treatment in hospital. At least 120 people have been displaced and three temporary shelters have been established where the affected families are receiving humanitarian aid. KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube led a government delegation, including MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Bongi Sithole-Moloi and eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda, to various areas in eThekwini to receive a firsthand report on the extent of the damage and to ensure a coordinated rapid response from government. “We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of those that have tragically lost their lives and wish those recovering in hospital a speedy recovery. Our priority is to ensure that the displaced families receive immediate humanitarian relief and fast-track the restoration of services. We have rallied all government departments to ensure an all-hands on deck approach as we consolidate our rebuilding and recovery plan of action,” she said. Premier Dube-Ncube said their aim is to support affected families to rebuild their lives. “Assessments are continuing so that work to repair damaged infrastructure can begin. 

The assessment reports will give us a clear indication of the extent of the damage and funding that will be required. We also urge municipalities to ensure that all those that are affected are profiled and receive the necessary support from government.” Mayor Kaunda said while assessments are ongoing, Municipal teams are actively engaged in debris clearance and the restoration of essential services such as water and electricity in affected areas. The Disaster Management teams are conducting assessments and coordinating humanitarian efforts for the affected families. Non-governmental organisations, including Red Cross, Al-Imdaad Foundation, Gift of the Givers, and IPSS Medical Rescue, are working closely with government to ensure the provision of hot meals, mattresses, blankets, food parcels, and humanitarian assistance.

At this stage oThongathi has been classified as the most affected area with hundreds of houses severely destroyed. Other areas such as Umgababa south of eThekwini as well as Eshowe, Utrecht, Osizweni, and KwaHlabisa have also been severely affected. Public infrastructure such as schools, roads, community halls and healthcare facilities were affected. Heavy rains damaged transformers and powerlines leaving many areas in eThekwini without power. Residents are urged to continue to heed weather warnings whenever they are issued to minimise the impact and loss of lives.