#DurbanFloods-Tragedy Should Be Utilized As A Source Of Strength.
By Keamo Segwagwe
The death toll in KwaZulu-Natal as a result of heavy rains and flooding this week has risen to 67, according to official reports. The heavy rains and floods have also left a trail of destruction, destroying road infrastructure, approximately 200 residential homes and displacing over 1000 people, as well as the destruction of some of the beaches such as Uvungo which suffered extensive damage due to the floods which will take months to fix. This is the sort of damage that can be seen in various parts of KwaZulu-Natal with the heavy rain and floods having similar devastating effects in other provinces such as the Eastern Cape which has also similarly seen some fatalities.
I initially thought it prudent to have dialogue pertaining;
the importance of global warming and the catastrophic effects that come with it,
the reality that KwaZulu-Natal is one of the most rapidly urbanising cities and urbanisation puts a strain on infrastructure which is not being developed fast enough to keep pace with growing populations and the subsequent positioning of RDP houses granted the mountainous landscape of the KZN.
However, with the entire nation grieving the loss of loved ones, the loss of prized property and the destruction of our beautiful landscapes, I thought it fitting to have dialogue appropriate to the national mood.
What we have seen as a nation over the course of this week has been something that can be described using the dictum ‘tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength'. We have many South Africans from all walks of life, both corporates and regular citizens pulling together working towards a concentrated effort of bringing relief and assistance to the affected victims, with the Gift of the Givers Foundation, the largest disaster relief organisation of African origin on the African continent playing a pivotal role in bringing disaster relief to the affected areas. Assistance has come in the form of large cash donations from both individuals and corporates, as well as donations ranging from blankets, food hampers, and clothes.
There is a profound need for national unity in South Africa and this moment is a vivid indication that we are capable of national unity as a country. National unity gives us the ability to achieve the development of our nation. Moreover, it helps us understand each other’s needs and choices especially considering the history of our country, it gives us the ability to strengthen our nation, it helps us build a safer nation and more importantly national unity allows us as people from all walks of life as South Africans to share innovative and dynamic ideas, values and emotional bonds. National unity allows for a sense of community, a sense of purpose which keeps us as people united.
It is the attainment of national unity as an ideal which gives us as people the ability to put our individual differences aside and build interests that work unitedly for the realization of a better South Africa for all.
Let us continue to support and donate towards those affected by the heavy rains and floods not only in Kwa Zulu Natal but in all other affected areas. Please see the below the provincial disaster management centres in Durban, Port Shepstone and in Empangeni where donations such as clothing, blankets and food to the many families who are affected can be made:
Durban: 3 Jelf Taylor Cres, Stamford Hill, Durban 4025
Port Shepstone: Ugu Disaster Management Centre
Empangeni: 9 Bronze Street, Kuleka, 3880.
Please also follow twitter user Tumi Sole who has been using his social media account to filter information about drop-off points for any kind of assistance people could provide.
Money donations can also be made directly into the Gift of the Givers account using the below details:
Gift of the Givers
Account number: 052137228
Branch Code 057525
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ
Reference: KZN Floods
“we cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful”-Marie Curie