Storm damage: Rebuilding starts in Molweni

2008-11-18 00:00

RAIN did not dampen the spirits of government officials and volunteers who yesterday helped start the process of rebuilding Molweni, which was destroyed in a freak storm on Friday.

Six people, including two children, were killed, 50 people were injured and hundreds of homes were flattened when a five-minute storm tore through the area.

Heavy rain and flash flooding caused low-cost houses to collapse, trapping residents inside their homes, while cars were swept from the roads. Telephone poles and large trees were uprooted by the strong winds.

Yesterday, eThekwini ANC chairman John Mchunu, Social Development MEC Meshack Radebe and his Housing counterpart Mike Mabuyakhulu and eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba helped residents mop up.

Three houses were built and the team erected tents for others who lost their homes.

The rebuilding is expected to cost around R15 million, with additional money needed to repair houses that have structural damage as well as houses that lost their roofs.

South African Community Action Network managing director Brian Jones said that while the wet weather prevented a helicopter from doing an aerial assessment of the damage, relief work continued on the ground.

He said the response from the public has been phenomenal, with more than 11 000 people responding to calls for donations and help.

“The public has been great. We have received food hampers and blankets. People are also helping to erect tents for the homeless,” he said.

Jones said sponsored global positioning system (GPS) units have been handed to street volunteers to help with the relief work.

“The units will be used by the workers to identify homes that have been damaged by the storm. A special database will be compiled where the residents’ needs will be stored and then attended to,” he said.

Pamphlets will be distributed to the community with an SMS number that residents can use to contact the relief team.

“This system will identify those homes that need roofing repairs and those that have structural damage,” he said.

A memorial service for those killed will be held tomorrow and a mass funeral is expected to take place at the weekend.

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