Thursday October 20, 2022

Kwa-Zulu Natal Province experienced heavy torrential rainfall in April 2022, causing severe flooding and landslides. The floods washed away, destroyed and devastated infrastructure, land, homes, roads, bridges, schools, health centres, livelihoods and human life. Sadly, over 400 people lost their lives. At least 12 000 homes were destroyed, with another 8,300 homes partially damaged, internally displacing at least 40 000 people and affecting over 120 000 people.

The informal settlements were the hardest-hit areas during the floods. Homes along rivers, below flood lines, in rural areas, and especially on steep hillsides, had little or no infrastructure to protect them from flooding. Unfortunately, most of these homes and shacks were washed away, including all belongings, leaving a trail of destruction and devastation of livelihoods.

Islamic Relief responded to the Kwa-Zulu Natal floods by activating the emergency response intervention. This intervention entailed rapid needs assessment of the floods and the people affected. The first response was to provide relief to the affected people, including women, children, and the elderly, by providing blankets, mattresses, and emergency food packs.

Currently, the Kwa-Zulu Natal Floods Emergency Response Project is ongoing. Islamic Relief South Africa is on the ground in flood-affected areas. We are assisting in rebuilding livelihoods and restoring dignity to those who have suffered. We are implementing different projects to support those flood-affected people and communities.

Non-Food Item (NFI) Distribution: NFI was distributed at seven project sites: Clermont, New Germany, Marianridge, Red Hill, Amaoti, Water Loo, and Tongaat. NFIs consisted of mattresses, blankets, and kitchen sets, including a portable electric stove. We provided 600 mattresses and blankets to flood-affected victims. The total number of beneficiaries benefited over 300 households.

Rehabilitation of flood-damaged homes: This component focuses on rehabilitating and repairing flood-damaged homes in Luganda, Savannah Park, and Wyebank. Flood-damaged homes will undergo extensive repairs as per the need, which includes: block work, plastering, window and door replacement or repairs, electrical work, tiling, roof repairs, and tree-damaged repairs. Minor repairs are being done on less damaged homes, including fixing windows and doors, cleaning muddy walls, removing rubble and repairing rooms. A few Luganda and Savannah Park homes have undergone extensive and minor rehabilitation. We will continue to restore the livelihoods of those that have suffered the most from the floods.

Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH): This component is aimed at creating awareness of water and sanitation hygiene post-disaster. Marianridge hosted seven WASH sessions for affected communities. The session concluded with participants receiving a Health and Hygiene Dignity Kit, including a 20-litre bucket with a lid, a health soap, and water purification tablets for ten days. The awareness sessions will take place in Clermont, New Germany, Marianridge, Red Hill, Amaoti, Water Loo, and Tongaat.

Distribution of Water and Water Diarrhoea Kits. The objective is to provide clean, potable water to flood-affected communities still experiencing water shortages. We have distributed and provided water purification tablets, which are for the domestic treatment of water, in Birchwood and Marianridge. This ongoing project component will be implemented in Clermont, New Germany, Marianridge, Red Hill, Amaoti, Water Loo, and Tongaat.

All these components under the Kwa-Zulu Natal Emergency Flood Response are ongoing. We pray that the restoration of homes, awareness of water and sanitation hygiene, including hygiene kits, and the distribution of non-food items will restore the dignity of the flood-affected people and families in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

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