Blankets and food needed in Cape Town’s flooded informal settlements

Some learners have missed examinations

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On Thursday, residents, some who were served a formal notice to vacate by the City of Cape Town last month, moved a home situated on the Diep River floodplain near Parklands North to higher ground. Photo: Peter Luhanga

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.

People hang mattresses up in Vygieskraal informal settlement in Belgravia, Cape Town, to keep them out of reach of the flood waters, but they cannot avoid the rain. Photo: Tariro Washinyira

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.

“I haven’t slept for a few nights now because my bed and children’s bunk bed and blankets are wet as a result of floods and continuous rain,” said Nocawe Mqulo. Photo: Tariro Washinyira

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.”

A man can be seen using a makeshift raft to navigate floodwater on Thursday after heavy rains caused the Diep River to burst its banks, flooding several homes within the floodplain behind Doornbach informal settlement, opposite Dunoon. Photo: Peter Luhanga

Sibusiso Rigala, from Bloekombos, who works as a guard near Cape Gate, has had to move in with a neighbour. He said he removed a section of his roof because it was getting damaged. “I threw my bed away, because it’s drenched. My fridge has also conked out,” he said. Photo: Vincent Lali

Xola Siwango, who works as a grasscutter in Kraaifontein, said he left his shack last week when the heavy rains started. “I eat at my friend’s place in section 14, of Bloekombos. I can’t cook because my place is wet and my groceries are wet,” he said. Photo: Vincent Lali

A man bails water out of his home in Covid informal settlement in Mfuleni, Cape Town. Photo: Masixole Feni

Covid informal settlement in Mfuleni on Wednesday. Photo: Masixole Feni

TOPICS:  Housing

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