After several days of hard work, in which the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management used 30 trucks to remove the rubble and debris from last week’s fire in Masiphumelele, the scale of the tragedy has become even clearer. With the burnt remains removed and the ground levelled, Masicorp volunteer Sophie Billington was on hand to help the children of Masincedisane Pre-school find an alternative location for their immediate future. It has not been easy with 35 children currently crammed into the small shacks left available for them – but at least we have ensured they have something.
Sophie’s pictures show the extent of the damage. Here you can see the remains of the building next to Masincedisane Pre-school. The molten television set amongst the rubble is a testimony to the intense heat of the blaze.
The city has prepared the ground for rebuilding and provided starter kits for those who have lost everything in the blaze. The picture below shows the area affected and also highlights the poor quality of the land. The water table is so close to the surface that homes and businesses are regularly flooded at this time of year.
After finding temporary accommodation for the children, Masicorp’s longer term intentions are to rebuild the pre-school with a more sound structure such as waterproofing the floor either with cement flooring, raising the floor level, or installing a waterproof membrane to prevent the annual flooding. In an ideal world we would like to raise enough for a breeze block structure that would survive future potential fire damage and provide a good school. The only building standing in this picture of the affected area is the only one that was built from robust breeze blocks.
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