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USAID assesses South Africa’s flood damage impact and assistance - Zamdela Settlement, Free State Province
March 17, 2011
Following USAID’s contribution of more than R350 000 to Rescue South Africa (RSA) for emergency relief services to flood-impacted South Africans, USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance team assessed the scale of the damage caused by heavy rains in the Free State region’s Zamdela Settlement.
The USAID team met municipal disaster management officials and consultants at the Fezile Dabi District Municipality office mid-March to visit the affected areas.
Mother of two daughters, Christina Mokoena, is one of the hardest hit victims. Water still surfaces beneath her two-room shack. Showing the extent of the damage to USAID’s team, Christina says, “The situation is bad. I’m always changing the plastic cover on the floor to prevent the water from flooding my house again.” Some of her neighbours have trenches running across their shacks hoping to re-direct the water flow away from their shacks.
USAID contributed financial support to RSA to provide immediate relief aid and, importantly, to partner with municipal and provincial disaster management authorities, as well as other agencies, to lead flood relief and recovery efforts for families like Christina’s.
RSA’s team of specialists is currently in Japan assisting with recovery and relief efforts following that country’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. USAID has supported RSA to gain international search and rescue expertise and the ability to train others in life-saving procedures following crises such as earthquakes, floods, trench rescue, swift water rescue, aircraft accident, body recovery, and numerous other skills.