Disaster Response NGO Calls for Support to Retrieve Trapped Bodies in KwaZulu Natal

Disaster Response NGO Calls for Support to Retrieve Trapped Bodies in KwaZulu Natal (News Central TV)

The fatal floods in KwaZulu-Natal province continued to wreck havoc on people and property. So far, over 360 persons have been reported dead while many remain unaccounted for.

Gift of the Givers, a disaster response non-governmental organisation, has reached out to the public, seeking assistance to retrieve the body of a woman in Durban North, whose house collapsed, burying her in the process since Monday.

“We are urgently looking for a [Bobcat] to excavate a deceased individual who passed on in Durban North when the wall of the house collapsed. Search and rescue teams have been battling since Monday night to retrieve the body,” group founder, Imtiaz Sooliman said on their social media accounts.

Sooliman went on to detail how the devastating happened, and how much effort have been put in to rescue the body of the buried woman, adding that help was urgently needed.

A member of the Gift of the Givers NGO inspecting road wreck caused by the flood

“This is a property that has two homes. The rain pushed the boundary wall through the dining room of the one house. There was a huge sound like a lightning storm. A few minutes later, the boundary wall lower down collapsed on the neighbour’s house, directly on the domestic’s room.

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“The domestic was buried under the wall. From Monday evening SAPS search and rescue teams have been battling to [reach her] manually. No equipment is available as there is huge demand everywhere. The search and rescue urgently require a Bobcat to retrieve the body and arrange a dignified funeral.”

Gift of the Givers, since the tragic flooding began, has been rapidly responding to the situation by way of rescue, and also providing food and other necessities to the victims of the unfortunate incidents.

However, they have stated clearly that their interventions will not in any way, interfere with what the government of South Africa is doing, or intends to do.

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“Our criteria are clear: roads, bridges, drainage and public infrastructure are a governmental responsibility, though Gift of the Givers will possibly consider schools and health infrastructure for repair,” it said.

“Private homes and businesses should be covered by insurance companies, while it’s the informal settlements, houses in low-lying locations and the non-insured that are dependent on a compassionate nation to assist them in their hour of distress.

“The need is huge, with massive damage to roads, highways turned into rivers, shipping containers floating on the N2, retaining walls collapsed with people trapped underneath, cars have been washed away, debris and trees blocking roads, people can’t get to work, health facilities had to reduce services, religious institutions, as well as many homes, have been damaged, electrical infrastructure is non-functional aggravating load-shedding, streams have become raging rivers, people have lost their lives.

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“Those making it to work have to carry extra shoes and socks as they walk through streams to get to transport that has to negotiate high levels of water on roads.”

The humanitarian response NGO has also called for more donations like water, sanitary pads, food and other needs to cater for the victims who have mostly become internally displaced.

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