After the storm: More help on the way for KZN

7 June 2024 | SANews

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government is at the centre of coordinating relief and humanitarian efforts in the aftermath of a devastating storm that ripped through parts of the province on Monday.

The uThongathi area in eThekwini was the hardest hit, with other district municipalities, including Ilembe, King Cetshwayo, Amajuba, Umzinyathi and Umkhanyakude, being affected by the storm.

According to the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, 12 people across the province died following the storm and strong winds.

Initial assessments show that over 7 000 households have been damaged, affecting over 17 000 people. Eighteen schools have been damaged.

The provincial government said over 1200 homeless families were currently receiving humanitarian aid from government across the province.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube Nncube, said disaster teams were continuing with assessments to establish the total cost of the damages.

A central management centre has been set up in the eMagwaveni area in uThongathi, where all relief and support efforts are being coordinated, and more services to the areas affected by storms have been added.

Every government department is on the ground to speed up recovery efforts, providing humanitarian relief and improve safety and security as mop-up operations continue. Government has also coordinated all the support from non-government organisations and private donors to ensure it reaches all those that are affected and avoid duplication.

“To support the South African Police Services and Metro Police to ensure maximum security, government has deployed safety volunteers from the Department of Community Safety and Liaison and the eThekwini Municipality.

“Power generators have been set up in strategic locations around the uThongathi area to ensure adequate lighting and visibility and power has been restored in some parts of uThongathi,” Dube-Ncube said.

Considering the scale of damages and amount of work required it is anticipated that power supply will progressively be fully restored in the coming days.

The provincial government has commended the progress made by Eskom in restoring power to affected communities across the province.

However, it appealed to the public to be patient as damaged infrastructure has led to challenges in accessing certain areas, hampering repair efforts.

“While water supply was not affected, eThekwini Municipality has provided water tankers to ensure everyone has access to water, and standpipe systems have been installed in areas where taps were damaged.

“The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has increased the number of Community Development Workers and Expanded Public Works Programme workers to assist in clearing debris and cleaning the streets to make areas accessible.

The Department of Social Development has made social workers available to provide counselling, and the South African Social Security Agency is assisting families to replace lost social grant cards.

“The Department of Home Affairs is also assisting community members who lost their identity documents, while government is provides three meals a day to the community members at the various centres that have been set up in the area,” said the provincial government.

The Premier assured residents that government was working hard to find permanent solutions to assist victims, particularly in uThongathi.

“We have engaged with eThekwini Municipality to review existing plans related to human settlements.

“Working together with the city and the Provincial Department of Human Settlements, we are seeking the quickest solutions to provide shelter for those affected.

“We appreciate the continuous support from non-government organisations that have extended a helping hand to our people. We are working closely with all grieving families to ensure they mourn with dignity and bury their loved ones in a dignified manner,” Dube-Ncube said.

error: eRadio is protected !!