From the news desk

Gift of the Givers assisting Imizamo fire victims

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Residents from Imizamo Yethu informal settlement will have to rebuild their lives from scratch after a massive fire wreaked havoc in Hout Bay this weekend. Three people died in the blaze, which burnt 3500 structures to the ground. 15 000 residents have been left displaced and will be provided alternative accommodation. Humanitarian workers have described the scale of disaster as one that Cape Town has not seen for a number of years.

Gale-force winds in Cape Town exacerbated the flames, which spread rapidly along the mountain on Sunday morning. The cause of the fire has not been determined. While the fire has been doused, the opposite mountain has also caught aflame and is being monitored.

Disaster Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said the rehabilitation process is underway .

“The debris has been removed by Solid Waste and 90% of water has been restored. The Electricity department is working flat out to restore the infrastructure,” she said.

The aftermath of the fire [Photo: GOTG]
The City’s NGO partners are providing humanitarian relief and co-ordination of donations is being managed by the Thula Thula Foundation.

“We have set up community halls and a marquee tent to accommodate the victims,” said Powell.

Residents searching for their belongings
[Photo: GOTG]
Social workers from the Western Cape Department of Social Development’s Metro South Regional office and officials from the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) programme are on the ground rendering trauma counselling, and are coordinating relief services in conjunction with the Red Cross.

The Gift of the Givers has distributed blankets, food items and other goods, but will ramp up more aid and importantly water over the next few days. The aid agency will also provide essential kitchen items to families to restart their home.

Volunteers hand out relief items to residents
[Photo: GOTG]
According to GOTG project manager Sadiq Natha, the food donated by the Cape Town Cycle tour was vital in providing immediate relief to affected residents.

“There’s usually a lot of wastage at events and the fact that everything was ready to go was a huge help. We really appreciate the assistance from Pick n Pay, especially the use of the toilets and fresh food and water,” he said.

Humanitarian goods being packed for Hout Bay
[Photo: GOTG]
The dire need now is for non-perishable food items, clothing and blankets. To contribute, drop off any goods at the GOTG warehouse in Paddy Close in Ottery or call 0800 786 777. Residents in Hout Bay can drop off goods at Groenanal primary school and Hout Bay International School.

Cash contributions are welcome for purchases at a later stage.

To make a deposit:
Gift of the Givers Foundation
Account: 052137228
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Branch code: 057525
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ


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