The calls have been coming in since last night not from those requesting assistance but amazingly from corporates wanting to support stricken communities. With all our troubles, frictions and challenges this is indeed an incredible country where the spirit of Ubuntu always takes centre stage and reigns supreme. Our teams are busy with on site assessments identifying areas of severe damage and to avoid duplication. Community members are also providing feedback. Our criteria are clear: roads, bridges, drainage and public infrastructure are a governmental responsibility, though Gift of the Givers will possibly consider schools and health infrastructure for repair. Private homes and businesses should be covered by insurance companies, whilst it's the informal settlements, houses in low lying locations and the non-insured that are dependent on a compassionate nation to assist them in their hour of distress. The need of the hour is huge with massive damages to roads, highways turned into rivers, shipping containers floating on the N2, retaining walls collapsed with people trapped underneath, cars have been washed away, debris and trees blocking roads, people can't get to work, health facilities had to reduce services, religious institutions as well as many homes have been damaged, electrical infrastructure is non-functional aggravating load shedding, streams have become raging rivers, people have lost their lives. Those making it to work have to carry extra shoes and socks as they walk through streams to get to transport that in turn has to negotiate high levels of water on roads.
Gift of the Givers teams are currently in Tongaat where a lady and three children were washed away tragically. Three bodies have been found, one child is still missing. There is substantial destruction in the area. Visits will be conducted in Phoenix and areas from where calls of desperation come through. We are awaiting reports from team members in Stanger and South Coast and JOC Disaster Management. The National SAPS and Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Mkhanazi's office are in communication with us to provide any support required.
Hot meals, blankets, bottled water, warm clothes, sanitary pads and diapers are the initial requirements for those in low lying areas who have lost their material possessions. Food parcels, school uniforms and stationery will be provided where the need arises, building material will be considered as well as repairs to damaged school infrastructure.
Gift of the Givers will assist as best we can. Contributions into Gift of the Givers (Make a Difference) Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account number 052137228, Branch Code 057525, ref KZN Floods. Please send deposit slip to firstname.lastname@example.org for acknowledgement and to request Section 18A tax deductible certificate.