Al-Imdaad FoundationAL-IMDAAD FOUNDATION
09 Jan 2011

" In the past week it came to the rescue of people affected in Newcastle, Ladysmith and Dannhauser, assisting with relocations and providing food to those in need."

Humanitarian organisation, the Al-Imdaad Foundation (AIF), is to continue its relief efforts in drought stricken Beaufort West as well as flood-ravaged parts of KwaZulu-Natal. In the past week it came to the rescue of people affected in Newcastle, Ladysmith and Dannhauser, assisting with relocations and providing food to those in need. "Ladysmith, Dannhauser and Newcastle were most affected," said a representative for the organisation, Abed Kareem. "In the Newcastle area it's the river that flows through the town and the Chelmsford dam being 104 % full." Speaking to VOC on Friday, Kareem said more rain was forecasted for the weekend. "They are expecting rain for the next two days and on Monday there will be thunderstorms in Newcastle." Since the start of its emergency response last week Sunday, AIF has been working with different government departments to determine plans of action. "We have been working the departments of disaster management and social development," said Kareem. "We went out and did inspections and assessments with these different government departments. We have started with hot soup for immediate relief." He went on to explain that the biggest problem in the rural areas was that the mud houses were caving in, killing a child in one instance. Residents have since been relocated to a neighbouring town where a businessman offered part of his warehouse for the temporary move. Tents could not even be erected to house the destitute people as the ground was saturated with water. "The problem now is that there is so much rain the water is coming out of the ground," said Kareem. "So even if you put up tents water is now coming out of the ground ... there are no venues or something where we can house the people. AIF is presently working with a soup kitchen to provide hot soup over the next five to six days until provincial and local municipalities find a more long-term solution for themselves." Meanwhile, AIF continues to assist thousands of residents in Beaufort West who have been battling to overcome a severe drought. "We have already sponsored about 60 tankers (2.5 million liters)," Kareem reported. VOC (Faatimah Hendricks)
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