WATCH | Treading water: Storm-ravaged Gugulethu residents get relief from Gift of the Givers

  • A severe storm in Cape Town has left several dwellings damaged. 
  • A 70-year-old Gugulethu resident Tandeka Thunywa had to wade through ankle-deep water after heavy rains left her home flooded.
  • Gift of the Givers handed out mattresses and hygiene packs to more than 100 people.

Humanitarian aid group Gift of the Givers visited the Kanana community in Gugulethu to hand out mattresses and hygiene packs to flood victims on Tuesday morning.

The Western Cape was hit by a severe storm, particularly affecting vulnerable communities over the past few days. Many informal settlements were left flooded after heavy downpours. 

Seventy-year-old Tandeka Thunywa told News24 that her dwelling regularly became waterlogged during winter.

"I have been living in conditions like this since 1994," she said. 

"I don't have any other home, this is all I have," she added, standing an ankle-deep puddle of murky water. 

Thunywa, who shares her home with her 30-year-old son, says she has reported the conditions, but that nothing has ever been done.

"This is not the first time now. I have reported this matter to the City so many times over the years, but no one has assisted me".

ALSO READ | Cape Town mops up after severe storm

The elderly resident said, when she hears weather reports of heavy rainfall, it dampens her spirit.

"I get very sad when I hear rain is on its way. I know I am going to have to put up with these wet conditions," she said. 

Her only wish is for a new home, that can keep her warm and out of the cold, she tells News24. 

Gift of the Givers' Ali Sablay said Guguletu residents, along with other communities, would be receiving relief over the next few days. 

"We received calls for assistance in several Cape Town communities. We chose this area after doing assessments and seeing that the homes in this area were badly damaged," Sablay said.

The aid group distributed mattresses, hygiene packs and clean masks to residents.  Gift of the Givers has been handing out food parcels to hungry families during the lockdown. They are still distributing food parcels, but disaster relief has taken priority.  

"We have been doing disaster relief for several years now. And we know that, when winter arrives, there will be a need for us to assist," Sablay said. 

"Our food aid packages continue, but the priority is getting the community in flooded areas relief".

Making sure the elderly are warm and looked after during this pandemic is at the top of the organisation's list, he added. 

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