Devastated Wupperthal appeals for aid: How you can help

2019-01-03 19:03
A fire in Wupperthal town. (Supplied)

A fire in Wupperthal town. (Supplied)

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The community of Wupperthal near Clanwilliam has been left reeling after a New Year's weekend fire and is asking for financial and other donations.

The blaze destroyed half of the historical village, including the Moravian Mission Station, shops and 53 homes. At least 200 people have been left homeless.

The good new is that the 185-year-old church, the famous veldskoen factory and the organic rooibos tea factory were left unscathed, the Moravian Church of SA said on Thursday.

Western Cape police are investigating a case of arson.

READ: Wupperthal fire: Police investigating arson case after fire ravaged historic town

"Our community know how to stand together in times of need, and residents from the surrounding farms and homes have taken in the displaced families and ensured that no one is without a place to sleep," said the church's vice-president, Reverend Martin Abrahams.

"Our focus now is to ensure that everyone is as comfortable as they can be, with access to bedding, food, clothing and toiletries."

He said one of their biggest concerns was figuring out how to feed 225 children from surrounding farms and properties who had arrived to start school next week.

The fire destroyed the hostel where the children usually board during the week.

The Western Cape government met with the church and local leadership on Thursday, where the parties agreed to implement immediate emergency relief efforts in the area. 

ALSO READ: Firefighters battle 'out of control' blaze in Vrygrond, Cape Town amid heatwave

The school children and emergency housing were listed as key areas, while electricity, sanitation and water were also receiving attention.

The provincial education department would visit the area on Friday.

Here is how you can help the Wupperthal community

1) Drop off donated goods at your nearest Stor-Age branch.

You can donate these items to any Stor-Age branch in the Western Cape:

- Adult clothing and shoes (Clothing should be clean/freshly laundered and only donate new underwear);

- Bedding (Clean foam mattresses, duvets, blankets, pillows, sheets);

- Meal utensils (Any eating utensils and cooking pots, chopping boards, knives, glasses and cups);

- Food (Pockets of vegetables, tinned food, rice, pasta, sugar, UHT milk, tomato paste and stock cubes, water);

- Toiletries (Toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, face cloths, towels, deodorant, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner, tissues);

- Stationery (Pencils, pens, exercise books, school backpacks, paper, colouring pens and pencils, glue stick etc);

2) Make a cash donation or sponsor R600 for a child to help cover the costs of purchasing basic school supplies.

The church has partnered with Fruitful Futures to handle these arrangements, which can be organised here.

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