Posted on Monday, February 1, 2010 in Current Events / Activities
Floods over the last week have affected the Gauteng, Free State, North West and Northern Cape Provinces of South Africa. Most of the areas have suffered displacement of people due to the floods in varying degrees.
Gauteng Province has recorded the highest number of displaced and dead victims of flash floods. Worst hit areas have been the Phomolong – Tembisa and Palm Ridge areas on the East Rand.
On Tuesday DMPSP and Militia inspected Phomolong and Palm Ridge to assess damage and disseminate reports. On requesting assistance from the Salvation Army, the SA Germiston Unit has responded swiftly in providing assistance to the requested areas. Food, blankets and clothes were supplied by the mission to the displaced people in those areas.
DMPSP and Militia Personnel have been deployed assisting the victims of the floods in the area.
Approximately 300 families displaced by the floods highlighted the need for urgent humanitarian intervention. Almost 400 Shacks were flooded by water and mud and have become uninhabitable.
Communities are distressed by the local government ward councillor who did not even bother to visit the site of the disaster. Ekurhuleni Metro has responded to calls for help from community by providing an alternative area for shacks to be relocated to. 2 trucks and about 20 Red Ant personnel were sent to assist in the relocation.
People in the area are however frustrated with local government representatives and claim he has been selling stands for R 5000.00 in the area. There is no infrastructure and the area, its close to the river and prone to floods.
The situation in Palm springs is now stable. Some 187 shacks have been moved to the new site at Extension 9, but community leaders say that there is still approximately another 190 shacks which have suffered flood damage and are in critical need.
On the 28 th the trucks hired by the Ekurhuleni Metro did not visit the area at all to remove the shacks and belongings. Residents were frustrated as the rain has let up for a while and ground has dried sufficiently to allow the trucks to get nearer the affected areas thereby speeding up the process of removing the affected homes.
Ekurhuleni Disaster Management Manager – Mr Francois Kruger, assured DMPSP the the trucks were in the area removing the shacks and everything was “under control”.
DMPSP investigations however revealed that the trucks would not be coming back to remove any further shacks. Truck owners stated that the Metro had only paid them to move approximately 190 shacks, and they had completed the contract.
Residents of affected shacks are in real danger of further flooding as more rain is predicted.
DMPSP and Militia are on standby to be able to provide further assistance if required.
Phomolong – Tembisa
On Tuesday this area had already suffered 2 dead and almost 90 people displaced. Assistance was provided to displaced. The Salvation Army again provided food, blankets and clothes to those in need. The situation seemed stable. On Friday night the area was again hit by flash floods and this time although no deaths were recorded in this area, far greater damage was caused and approximately 200 families were left homeless.
A man has also been killed by flood waters at kaya sands.
2 people are suspected missing due to flood waters in the Vaal.
Flood waters have caused much damage along the Vaal River.
The Free State Rural areas near Welkom have also suffered as well as areas near de Aar in the Northern Cape.
DMPSP is making an urgent call to people and organizations to provide assistance. Our resources are limited and to date only the Salvation Army has responded in providing assistance to the management of this Disaster.
DMPSP would like to take this opportunity to relay criticism in the strongest possible way to the Government, Organizations and People of South Africa. We have seen Government, The Media, Organizations and the public in general making huge contributions towards the relief effort in Haiti.
Although we are sympathetic to the crisis in Haiti, we feel that our own needs are being neglected. Almost R 70 million has been raised so far for Haiti and nothing for our own people that are suffering as victims of the floods. Only DMPSP, Militia and the Salvation Army have responded to this humanitarian crisis.
We call on the public, media and organizations to assist in donating, providing logistical support, building materials and creating public awareness to help people in rebuilding their homes.
Thanking you for your much appreciated support.
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