#LockdownSA: Families left homeless after severe storm

#LockdownSA: Families left homeless after severe stormA family of 13 have lost their house due to a storm in Limpopo:Credit(Ndivhuwo Mukwevho/Health-e News)

Scores of villagers have been left displaced after a thunderstorm struck rural Vhembe, Limpopo.

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While government encourages citizens to stay at home to help combat the spread of Covid-19, residents in Vhembe district been have left without shelter and food after their homes were destroyed by a thunderstorm. 

‘Within few minutes we were left without a home’

The Mukwevho family’s two-roomed roof was blown away. There are thirteen members living together  in Tshitandani village, under the Thulamela local municipality. They say all their belongings including food, clothes, and school books have been destroyed.

Tshifhiwa Mukwevho says that they were all inside when the storm erupted. “It caught all of us by a surprise as we never thought that during this time of the year a storm could erupt leaving us without a roof. It all happened very fast and within few minutes we were left without a home,” she says. 

Assess first 

Having already identified over 35 households, the Vhembe district municipality says that they are working with various stakeholders to assist affected families.

“The assessment is still continuing in the affected areas to get an exact number of affected households. The Vhembe district municipality, together with affected local municipalities, are working very hard to assist affected families,” says Matodzi Ralushai, spokesperson for the Vhembe district municipality.

Difficult to keep social distancing  

Mukwevho says it will be problematic to repair the house quickly because of unemployment and the lockdown. “But with the lockdown in progress it might be difficult for us to be able to renovate the house in time,” says Mukwevho. 

“We are currently being forced to share the RDP house, which is not enough to accommodate all of us but at least some of our neighbours have agreed to offer some of us a place to sleep,” she says.

Among the lockdown measures by the government is encouraging citizens to practise social distancing, but with the situation they found themselves in, the thirteen Mukwevho family members don’t have enough space to put those measures in place.

“At the moment we have nothing but we are hopeful all shall be well soon.”

Ralushai adds that they hope to receive assistance from non-governmental organisations (NGOs). “We also request NGOs and other various stakeholders to assist affected families as we are also under lockdown,” he says. – Health-e News


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