Stay safe, warm and dry

2016-05-03 06:00

The Western Cape is gearing up for what is expected to be a cold and wet winter, and the Mustadafin Foundation urges residents living in informal settlements to be safe and dry this winter season.

The Western Cape, much like the other provinces, is in dire need of rain. However, those living in impoverished areas should be prepared for when the rainy season starts, says Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem director at the foundation.

“We realise the devastating implications of the rainy season on those less fortunate; homes are damp and wet, diseases spread quickly and houses can be ruined in minutes. Mustadafin Foundation calls on all residents to gear up for the winter season, and be prepared to keep warm and dry.”

The foundation provides disaster relief to impoverished areas and also distributes hot food and blankets in the Western and Eastern Cape as part of their annual winter warmth project.

A 70-year-old resident in Tafelsig says “it’s the thought that counts, because not everyone thinks of the elderly in winter”.

“People tend to look the other way. It’s no use complaining. But then we find organisations like Mustadafin that go the extra mile and give us a warm, decent blanket and a meal to fill our stomachs.”

Johnstone-Cassiem agrees. “It is heartfelt to witness what a simple blanket can do for a person. Often, they have nothing else to help keep them warm. Our volunteers and employees have worked tirelessly to tend to those in severe need of winter warmth assistance.”

For residents living in informal settlements, Johnstone-Cassiem has the following tips to stay warm, dry and safe this winter season:

. Block all cold drafts coming into your home by covering openings of doors and window sills with blankets.

. Fix all roof leaks timeously.

. Layer up with clothing – a plastic bag or newspapers inside your jacket works wonders to keep you warm. Plastic bags can also be worn over your clothes when it rains.

. Half fill a hot water bottle before going to bed – it keeps the water warmer for longer when it is not filled to the brim.

. Move your bed away from the wall slightly – this will help keep cold air away from you.

. Do not drink alcohol as it drops core body temperature.

. Use sandbags around your home when it rains to keep water from entering your house.

. Never leave a fire unattended and ventilate your home if you do use fire for heating or cooking.

. Try to eat nutritious, warm food such as soup.

. Exercise – by staying active you will keep warm and it also assists with overall health.

The Mustadafin Foundation distributes warm nutritious meals, blankets and second-hand clothing to destitute communities in the Western Cape as part of their winter warmth initiative.

If you would like to join this initiative and ensure those in need are warm and dry this winter, please donate quality second-hand clothing or sponsor a hot pot of food.

For more information, to donate or volunteer call Mustadafin Foundation on 021 633 0010 or visit their website at


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