Displaced families residing in community halls in great difficulty

The devastating scale of April’s heavy rains have been well documented in the media over the past few weeks, with infrastructure, businesses and personal property destroyed and swept away, killing hundreds and causing untold grief to those who have survived.

Now many of those residents find themselves homeless, jobless and penniless, as they seek to rebuild their lives while settling into community halls across Chatsworth.

READ ALSO : No hope for families displaced by 2019 floods

The wards, which house an average of 100 displaced residents, are nothing more than a dry shelter where people are forced to spend their days staring at the vast walls, reliving the day when they lost all their belongings, homes and their family members.

The Rising Sun visited community halls in Bayview and Montford, experiencing the dire situation these families find themselves in. Busiswe Mkhize is a 41-year-old mother of three whose home in Bayview was destroyed by flooding.

“I am very sad and confused because I lost everything. I couldn’t recover anything from my home and arrived at the hall empty-handed. I was also trapped underground because there were pile of sand as well as cabins above mine, which had collapsed on my family. We weren’t lucky enough to get to safety in time, but luckily the other members of the community helped us. helped and are the reason we are still alive. I thank God for everything because we get our clothes and our food from this community hall, even though the trauma is still with me,” Mkhize explained.

Outside of these difficult times, however, there are ambers of hope and unity, as community members and organizations across Chatsworth have dedicated their time and efforts to making the lives of those affected by flooding a bit more manageable and comfortable. BP Chatsworth owner Gregory Naidoo, for example, donated meals to those who took up residence at Bayview Community Hall last week.

Last Friday, radio personalities and DJs, Luvuyo Njeje, also known as DJ Luvas, as well as Lloyd Paul visited the community hall in Montford in the hope of finding out what the displaced people needed and how to get it.

Njeje, who is also chairman of the Chatsworth Youth Forum and Luvas Art Development, explained the situation.

Njele said, “The challenge we face is a shortage of food, blankets and school uniforms for children. Sponsors donate clothes for adults, but unfortunately no one thinks about the necessary uniforms. People are very stressed and have turned to alcohol to cope with this stress, which we fear is the consequence of depression. The main focus is that we need community members to teach skills so people are active and can gain motivation. We don’t know how long they will be here and can only give them hope. They need people to believe in them.

Paul echoed Njeje’s sentiments, calling on anyone who can help with skills development to do so graciously.

READ ALSO : Meals On Wheels Community Services brings food aid to communities

“These are victims of the recent floods, who have been displaced. Their homes have been swept away and they have nowhere to go, no family to stay with in the meantime. There has been no indication from the municipality regarding accommodation or temporary accommodation. At the moment we are trying to help in any way we can. I noticed that there are a lot of toddlers, so there is an urgent need for diapers and sanitary clothes for women. We try to occupy them. Luvas has come up with a great concept of someone who can sponsor a projection screen to show movies to keep the old and young busy. If there are computer technicians who want to teach children and empower them, they can go to the community hall. If you have a skill you can teach, please donate your time. It would mean a lot to all of us, including the flood victims. We need to make life comfortable for our fellow human beings, keep them happy and make them forget about recent events,” Paul said.

If you would like to make a donation to Mkhize’s family, contact his brother, Dennis Mkhize, at 072-481-1835.

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