Hout Bay fire survivors get gifts and a bit of app-iness
Tanya Farber | 2017-03-21 16:28:37.0
Many homes have been destroyed after a fire broke out last night in Mandela Park in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay. File photo
Image by: PHOTOGRAPH: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES
Want to make sure every last one of the 15‚000 Imizamo Yethu fire victims gets the help they need to start rebuilding their lives?
Incredibly‚ it turns out there’s an app for that.
In one of the biggest relief efforts Cape Town has seen‚ all survivors have been registered on an app that is used by volunteers to make sure everyone is accounted for‚ has received emergency help‚ and is not getting extra supplies that should go to others.
The last 6‚000 victims received assistance on Tuesday at the sports fields below the settlement‚ which sit between rich Hout Bay and poor Hout Bay.
There‚ mobile showers have been set up‚ food is being provided‚ and the Red Cross Society of South Africa has erected tents which are housing thousands of people.
On an adjacent field‚ a streamlined distribution operation is still under way
Casey Dolan‚ spokeswoman for Thula Thula Hout Bay which is co-ordinating efforts‚ said: “This sums up our basic desire which is to restore dignity to people – which is very fitting for Human Rights Day. Today we are helping the last 6‚000 people affected. Nobody could have anticipated the magnitude of the relief efforts that would be needed here.”
She said communities around Cape Town had “stepped up like never before” to help those affected‚ and registration on the relief app had been crucial.
“The first major effort was to get registration done and dusted. There were people who had moved all the way to the top of the mountain. Volunteers climbed over the rocks to find every last person affected‚” she said.
“This effort is essential because‚ going forward‚ we will continue to give relief and it is crucial in delivering goods that we do it systematically.”
Emergency packs containing items such as nappies‚ towels‚ clothing and food have been distributed. “We had to buy over 2‚000 toothbrushes and facecloths‚ and other such items‚” said Dolan.
Non-perishable items are still being sorted in storage facilities‚ and Thula Thula is working with an actuary to ensure the funds they have can be used in the most effective manner.