Elderly Durban flood victims who are staying with neighbours or had been taken in by good samaritans, say just putting food on the table is a struggle. This as thousands of other flood victims who are being sheltered in halls, do receive food aid, but have to contend with cramped living conditions. The SABC and humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers have joined a flood relief effort by a school in the south of Durban, and handed over 3-hundred food parcels and blankets to flood affected families.
Adelaide Mbuthu is a 73-year old local resident of the Malukazi area near Umlazi, south of Durban. She and her seven children were left homeless in April when her house was destroyed by floods. She is staying with neighbours but says she is struggling to feed her children .
“The house was destroyed fortunately nobody was injured. We are seven at home and we all need help. I am happy about the intervention of the SABC together with Gift of the Givers. I will be able to cook for my family”, says Mbuthu.
Omela Monanparsad is another pensioner who had a narrow escape when her house was destroyed.
“My house was flooded and I am looking a child that is my own, I am a chronic patient. I never expect this to happen to me. I have three children and I am unemployed but I get disability grant.”she says.
SABC gives back to Umlazi community
Mbuthu and Monanparsad are among the people who have received food parcels and blankets being distributed by the SABC and humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers at the Windy Heights Primary School. The school started a drive to collect aid for flood victims after realising that many of the victims in the area are learners at the school. Regional SABC operations manager – Simphiwe Ngcobo – says the initiative is part of the SABC programme to change people’s lives.
“We decided to run a campaign where our listeners and viewers could actually donate money to the Gift of the Givers. Today, it culminates that day now where we give the hampers to the victims of the flood. It is the little that we can do as the SABC and radio station that we manage,” says Ngcobo.
Windy Height Primary School principal – Thembekile Makhanya – says the intervention will be a psychological boost for learners.
“As we are writing exams next week, they are going to pass because we know that when you get a meal goes a long way to a child of Malukazi. So, us after that receiving responses from Gift of the Givers we are serving this community. We said we are going to reach this 150 that we are talking about and today we have testimony of that,” says Makhanya.
Gift of the Givers has donated more than 100-thousand blankets and food parcels have been distributed to flood victims across the province. Hlengiwe Nkwanyana from Gift of the Givers explains.
“As Gift of the Givers, we saw the need to intervene and assist these with food because its very for a learner to concentrate when they are hungry. For KZN flood it’s more than 100 000 food parcels that we have distributed including water and blankets.”