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Gift of the Givers provides aid to several storm-Affected areas in Western Cape

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By Ragheema Mclean

Humanitarian aid organization, Gift of the Givers, has made a public appeal for donations to aid those affected by severe weather conditions and fires in the Western Cape.

The recent adverse weather has led to roofs being blown off, roads flooded, and trees uprooted in various areas.

Speaking on VOC Ramadan AM on Wednesday, Gift of the Givers spokesperson Ali Sablay said the storm was not as severe as one experienced in September last year.

However, areas such as Strand, Somerset West, the Cape Winelands District, Heidelberg, and the Overberg have been hard-hit.

Sablay explained, “Many informal settlement structures were damaged. Our teams were on the ground to assist those who were affected with hot meals, blankets, etc.”

“The day before the weather level warning was issued in an area called Kayamandi near Stellenbosch, close to 1500 people were displaced when a fire exacerbated by the strong winds brought down many structures.”

The organization has distributed over 6,000 meals and 6,000 blankets each day over the past two days and is extending operations to other affected areas.

“We’ll be monitoring operations in all parts of the Western Cape. We have trucks deporting for the Garden Route; there was heavy flooding in several areas. The municipalities and disaster risk management teams have reached out to us for assistance.”

Meanwhile, Sablay highlighted the need for a proactive approach to disaster management, emphasizing the importance of having assistance plans in place beforehand, especially for informal settlements that are often heavily affected.

“One can understand the frustration of communities in terms of the slow humanitarian aid coming in. These people are already displaced, and now they must wait long for aid.”

“You can’t come on the day when the incident happens and try and look for accommodation for people who could potentially be displaced. These measures need to be put in place beforehand, as weather warnings are given in advance.”

He also stressed the importance of not just providing temporary shelter but also ensuring ongoing support for those affected.

Those willing and able to assist can contact the toll-free number 0800 786 911 or visit Gift of the Givers’ social media pages for information on required goods and drop-off points.

The immediate needs include blankets and personal hygiene items.

VOC News

Photo: Gift of the Givers/Facebook

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