In South Africa our disaster response policy is clear: we support disaster management teams with our own personnel only if such a request is received. There is no need for duplication. We work within the system for better co-ordination. We currently have 30 personnel on standby. In terms of logistical support with helicopters (if any area is not accessible), ambulances, vehicles and general rescue equipment.
We have the capacity and expertise to act quickly, delivering emergency medical supplies, equipment, medical and search and rescue personnel, and support to those affected by natural disaster, conflict, poverty and disease. Part of our response includes the provision of food, water and temporary emergency shelter where necessary.
Since 2015 South Africa has been experiencing drought and drought-like conditions. In recent times Gift of the Givers responded to the drought in: KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo, Northern Cape, and Western Cape. The vast areas, and their large populations affected, made this one of the worst droughts in this country over the last 40 years Gift of the Givers has over 28 years’ experience in disaster response and disaster management.
Disaster management teams in various municipalities in South Africa always go beyond the call of duty when faced by challenges of runaway fires. Many of Gift of the Givers volunteers are personnel that come from these municipalities. In addition, we have a large pool of private volunteers who intervene locally if necessary.
Gift of the Givers provides humanitarian aid directly to communities and families who suffer severe material loss during a fire disaster. These include blankets, plastic sheeting, new clothing, shoes, food, baby milk, linen, dishes, stationery, diapers, sanitary pads, school clothing and other relevant items.
Severe storms, heavy rainfall and tornadoes affect informal settlements far worse and formal communities. The stench of dirty water hangs in the air, and the risk of water contamination is often a strong possibility. Homes are often completely destroyed, rooftops blow away, furniture and other belongings get drenched.
Immediately following the aftermath of the disaster Gift of the Givers assess the situation and call on our dedicated team of highly skilled personnel, rapidly deploying them to affected regions to lend support to those facing the crisis