by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – THE International Federation of Red Cross has allocated about 400 000 Swiss Franc (US$436 788 or R6,9 million) for victims of recent thunderstorms in South Africa.
Around 5 000 people (or 1 000 households) in the Eastern Cape province are receiving assistance following the harsh weather.
Media reports indicated a total death toll of six people, no less than 27 people hospitalised and hundreds being homeless after the storms hit Mthatha town, in the OR Tambo district of the province.
Rains pummeled the area in the early hours of December 12.
As the week progressed, Amathole, Buffalo city, Chris Hani, Alfred Nzou and Joe Gqabi surrounding districts were also impacted.
The thunderstorms greatly affected health, water and sanitation, food security and livelihoods.
“People are struggling to cope with ripple effects which include trauma, stress, limited hygiene materials and food insecurities,” said a Red Cross spokesperson.
Coupled with lower -income levels due to disturbed livelihoods, people’s well-being is at risk especially with the prevalence of COVID-19.
The South African Weather Services (SAWS) has warned of turbulent weather conditions to bring more showers and thunderstorms in the already affected areas of the Eastern Cape.
Some 40 volunteers and ten staff members are carrying out relief operations.
– CAJ News