When disaster strikes, people living in informal settlements are often the most vulnerable and worst affected. In the instance of flooding and torrential rain, the hardest hit areas face mudslides, collapsing of buildings, houses and roads and subsequent loss of lives. Several people go missing and hundreds are displaced.
Gift of the Givers initial response involves the delivery of humanitarian aid directly to communities and families who suffered severe material loss. These included blankets, plastic sheeting, new clothing, shoes, food, baby milk, linen, dishes, stationery, diapers, sanitary pads, school clothing and other relevant items.
With the immediate need of food, water, clothing, blankets and mattresses mostly taken care off – Gift of the Givers tried to make a more permanent contribution to the flood victims.
We weigh several options to balance out the need, speed of delivery, cost-effectiveness, intra and inter-community politics and managing expectations of the different stakeholders to determine whether we can provide a proper housing unit that does not leave the families vulnerable in the next rainy season.
In order to determine the feasibility of rebuilding houses versus repairing them, the team goes on a compulsory site visit. Essentially, we construct a sturdy structure, with no frills, but improves the standard of living of the family. Depending on the number of members in the household, either a single room unit, 2.5 room unit or three room unit is constructed. The materials we choose are weather and fire-resistant, and the building constructed by competent builders. Each recipient receives a welcome package of a food hamper, mattresses and blankets.
4000 South Africans were rendered homeless following a devastating shack fire in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, on New Year’s Day. In just over three months Gift of the Givers constructed 103 permanent houses for fire victims, complete with all necessary amenities.
Established in response to the continuous floods on the Jukskei River, and the subsequent loss of property and life a pro-active project in disaster response was urgently required to prevent the repetitive loss of valuable resources. Every year, when flooding occurs, people living on the banks of the river, receive corrugated sheeting, food parcels and blankets.
As a permanent solution, Gift of the Givers, constructed 103 houses in Alexandra on land obtained from the Johannesburg City Council and relocated the most vulnerable families in what was called "Project Higher Ground".
In April 2019 South Africa experienced flooding due to torrential rain in KwaZulu Natal. The death toll rose to a devastating 70 with several people missing and hundreds displaced. Evacuations and disaster relief efforts ensued shortly after the incessant rainfall. After the initial delivery of emergency aid, Gift of the Givers provided building material to several families and constructed nine homes in the Port Shepstone area.