Shack fire victims get assistance from NPO and City of Joburg

Philemon Matume of NPO, Blessed is th Hand That Gives with beneficiaries of the blanket donation after the shack fire.

 

Victims of a shack fire in 2nd Avenue, Alex were saved from a frosty spell by the generosity of well-wishers.

This through donations of blankets, food and building material from an NPO, church and the Joburg City Council’s disaster relief unit. Twenty-three shacks, which were home to hundreds situated near the Alexandra Healthcare Centre were razed to the ground at 9am on 29 June.

The fire was extinguished at the tail end after most of the structures and valuable property of the victims had already been reduced to ashes. It’s suspected it was caused by an electric fault.

Read: Victims of shack fire receive support

NPO, Blessed is the Hand that Gives distributed 100 blankets donated by the Methodist Church, Bryanston. Trevor Lake of the church said the assistance was part of their annual winter drive to help the poor and the sick cope with hostile conditions and circumstances beyond their control. “We go to Alex weekly to pray and donate whatever we can to ease their burden,” Lake said.

Democratic Alliance proportional representative councillor Shadrack Mkhonto said luckily there were no injuries as the fire occurred when most victims were at work. “Many lost their homes and need material support to re-build them.” This he said after distributing donated clothes, shoes and blankets to the victims and appealed for more building material like poles and corrugated iron.

Read: PICS: Shack fire leaves 161 Alexandra residents homeless

Meanwhile, the Joburg City Council’s Emergency Management Services (EMS) has reiterated its fire safety campaign directed particularly at fire prone informal settlements. Spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said they have launched a winter fire safety campaign targetting mostly, the 189 informal settlements in the city. It involves handing out safe equipment for heating and lighting.

Follow these safety tips:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit candle and other unsafe lighting and heating apparatus
  • Store candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children
  • Do not use a candle to light a stove and in a confined space
  • Use braziers only in a well-ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide inhalation
  • Take the brazier outside before going to bed
  • Put a paraffin stove on a flat surface where it can’t fall or get knocked over.
  • Store paraffin in safe containers
  • Do not leave your place or go to bed without blowing out candles, and switching off stoves or pressing irons
  • Switch off heaters and stoves at the plug before going to bed or out
  • Do not smoke in bed and always put out cigarettes carefully.

Details: Blessed is the hand That Gives 063 005 1940 Shadrack Mkhonto 079 444 1464.

  AUTHOR
Leseho Manala

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