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South Africa: Blankets and Food Needed in Cape Town's Flooded Informal Settlements

Some learners have missed examinations

Learners living in Vygieskraal informal settlement in Belgravia, Cape Town, missed examinations on Wednesday because of widespread flooding this week. School clothes and books were sopping wet, some no longer usable.

The widespread flooding has affected informal settlements including Philippi, Strand, Gugulethu, Mfuleni, Masiphumelele, and Khayelitsha.

According to Gift of the Givers, the number of people in the Western Cape requiring assistance is close to 10,000. To assist Gift of the Givers with their relief efforts visit their website or phone 0800 786 911.In some homes, groceries for the month have been destroyed. People are also missing work.

In Kraaifontein, some people had to abandon their homes and move in with neighbours last week already when the heavy rains began. People worry their belongings will be stolen while left unguarded.

Families need dry clothes, blankets and warm food.

On Wednesday, GroundUp met Onikayo, a grade 9 learner, scooping buckets of water out of the family home in Vygieskraal which she shares with her two sisters and her mother.

“When I woke in the morning the house was flooded, so I couldn’t go to school and I am writing exams. Exams are finishing tomorrow and I am not sure if I will be given a chance to write. My school shoes and uniform are wet,” she said.

Nocawe Mqulo has hardly slept the past few nights. Her home in Vygieskraal is flooded. Her paraffin stove won’t light so she is using gas.

“I missed work today so that I can deal with the situation. I will have to stay here with my four children. I don’t have a choice … So far we didn’t receive any help, our groceries got messed with floods. I have lived here for 16 years and experienced floods but this time they are too heavy.”

Community leader Nosiphiwe Kori said the community needs help with blankets and “warm food like soup”.

“No help has been received so far. We normally get help from the surrounding churches but they haven’t responded yet … We have alerted the City of Cape Town,” said Kori.

Community leader Linda Phito, in Bloekombos, said, “It broke my heart to see that residents now take to Facebook to plead with others to give them a place to sleep.”

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