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Cape Town Mosques show resilience amidst severe weather

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By Ragheema Mclean

As Cape Town grapples with the aftermath of severe weather, more people could be left homeless this week, adding to the thousands of residents displaced when gale-force winds accompanied by heavy downpours destroyed their homes over the weekend.

The damage due to inclement weather across the Western Cape was first reported last Thursday and escalated, with the South African Weather Service (SAWS) adjusting a Level 6 warning for winds to Level 8.

Flooding has been reported in several areas across the metro, with numerous mosques and places of worship also affected.

Speaking to VOC News, Colorado Mosque Chairperson Abdullatief Moosa addressed concerns after a video showing the mosque’s surroundings being completely flooded went viral.

“The stormwater drains can’t carry the water fast enough, which causes the buildup. There’s also a catchment area next to the masjid that belongs to the city. We are in constant liaison with our ward councilor. Now there’s no damage outside or inside the masjid, except for some leaks here and there, which is not a major issue, Alhamdulillah [All praise is due to God],” he explained.

Masjidus Soboor in Lentegeur has appealed for public assistance as they are currently busy with repairs caused by the heavy rainfall.

“Our masjid has been affected by the rain, and we are busy with roof repairs now. We are appealing to the public for any donations to help cover the costs,” said Moulana Husain Jackson.

Meanwhile, Secretary General at Nurul Latief Masjid in Macassar Ebrahim Peters noted that while the water has not entered any of the houses surrounding the Sheikh Yusuf Kramat, it has come close.

The masjid itself, situated on higher ground, remains dry except for minor leaks. “It’s near to the front door but not inside the houses, Alhamdulillah [All praise is due to God],” he said.

Another area heavily affected by recent rainfall was Parkwood. Riedewaan Blake from Masjidus Sabr noted considerable damage due to the age of the mosque, built in 1989.

Blake stressed, “The amount of downpour has affected our Masjid. The rain has exposed many weaknesses in our roof structure,” he said. “The roof has collapsed on one side of the building, and the carpet where the Imam stands has also been exposed to wetness. It could be a lot worse; we say Shukr to Allah for sparing us.”

Moulana Yushry De Bruyne from Darus Salaam Masjid in Tafelsig reported that the upstairs area of the mosque was affected, but the issues are being addressed.

“There were two classes upstairs that experienced wind damage. The roof of the masjid was also affected, but we have construction workers currently on site working on it,” he added.

Furthermore, several other Mosques have also reported minor leakages but no major damage and are hopeful it stays that way throughout the rest of winter.

Commenting on queries raised regarding flooding, SAWS forecaster Nompumelelo Kleinbooi said that with the continued cold front for the next couple of days, flooding is still a possibility.

“There are chances of precipitation for the next few days with a break forecasted on Monday but only for the western parts of the province. Over the eastern parts, there is still a possibility.”

She further noted that the intensity of the rainfall is dependent on the temperature differences from where the cold front is coming from and where it is moving towards.

“If the temperature differences are much more drastic, you have much more intense cold fronts which result in these dire and adverse weather conditions. When looking at the longer time scale – there is that variation aspect that comes in. Looking at the climate change issue, how drastic are those temperature differences that result from the frontal systems.”

For more information on how to assist or donate to repairs, contact the mosques:

  • Colorado Mosque: Chairperson Abdullatief Moosa, 084 429 4266
  • Masjidus Sabr: Riedewaan Blake, 081 435 7233
  • Masjid Soboor: Moulana Husain Jackson, 081 435 7723
  • Darus Salaam Masjid: Moulana Yushry De Bruyne, 078 524 0941
  • Nurul Latief Masjid: Secretary General Ebrahim Peters, 082 562 545

VOC News

Photo: Pexels

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