Masiphumelele Fire Fund – November 2015

A devastating fire has once again affected Masiphumelele. Sunday mornings fire is one of the largest that has affected the community in recent years, with over 1,000 structures destroyed and 4,500 people left homeless. Many of them have lost everything they own.

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Image: Chris Preen Photography

At such times of tragedy many of us want to help those affected, but are not sure of exactly how to get involved. We would therefore like to offer the following guidance.

The initial need is for emergency provisions, and this is being coordinated by Living Hope, whose headquarters on Kommetjie Road are the initial drop off point for donations. Please drop off at the security gate and all donations will be passed onto Disaster Management for distribution to those affected. The current needs are for clothing of all genders, sizes, ages (babies included). Please sort and label into girls/boys packages. Due to the large scale of the fire there is also a need for large boxes, packets and black bags for sorting. If you could spare a few hours of time to help sort and package donated items this would also be hugely appreciated.

Food items, including dried foods, baby formula and fruit are also important. Donation trolleys will also be in place in Pick n Pay stores in Long Beach, Tokai, Fish Hoek, and Constantia. Another need is for hygiene products (soap, facecloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant), buckets or hand washing basins, this will allow those affected to be able to wash.

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Image: Chris Preen Photography

In the days to come the City’s disaster risk management services will be helping the affected residents to rebuild their homes. Many families will require household items including furniture, clothes and linen. All gifts in kind can also be dropped off at Living Hope where they can be stored until the affected families are ready to receive them.

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Image: Sharkspotters

In the longer term we are concerned about the recipients of Masicorp’s educational projects and their families who may have lost possessions in the fire. Learners will have lost school uniforms and tracksuits, and university students that have returned home after an already difficult end to the academic term may have lost textbooks, laptops and other essential learning equipment. We are establishing a Fire Fund to help replace as much as we can for those affected in the hope that they can rebuild their lives as swiftly as possible.

You can donate in South Africa by EFT:

Bank name:                        Standard Bank
Account:                              Masicorp
Account No:                        374202176
Bank Code:                         036009
SWIFT:                                SBZAZAJJ
Address:                             Main Road, Fish Hoek, 7975 Cape Town, South Africa

In the USA through our secure website HERE

In the UK through our secure website HERE

PLEASE MARK YOUR DONATION – FIRE FUND FR000

Thank you for any help you can give.

Masiphumelele Fire Aftermath

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.

MPSSophie’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.

next doorThe school owner, Mandisa, has sadly also lost her home. Her shack used to stand in the mud square in the foreground of this picture.

mandisa shackThe 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.

wetlands areaAfter 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.

last building standingWe need your assistance to help these children and their families; any amount, however modest is welcome and is most appreciated.

You can donate in South Africa by EFT:

Bank name:                        Standard Bank

Account:                              Masicorp

Account No:                        374202176

Bank Code:                         036009

SWIFT:                                SBZAZAJJ

Address:                             Main Road, Fish Hoek, 7975 Cape Town, South Africa

In the USA through our secure website HERE

In the UK through our secure website HERE

PLEASE MARK YOUR DONATION – FIRE FUND

Thank you for any help you can give.

Fire Appeal for Masincedinsane Pre-School

Last Friday tragedy struck when a large fire broke out in the wetlands area of Masiphumelele. Over 200 shacks were completely engulfed by flames with a huge smoke plume visible across the region.

01 FIREFortunately there were no casualties but many residents have lost all of their possessions. It is estimated that at least 800 people have been made homeless at a time when the first storms of the winter have arrived.

Amongst the buildings affected was Masincedinsane Pre-School, where Masicorp volunteer Dr Sophie Billington was working at the time. Sophie was able to help evacuate the 35 children but sadly the school building has been completely destroyed.

02 FIREThe City of Cape Town disaster management team and specialist NGO’s such as MERCYNET are working very hard to alleviate the immediate problems. Masicorp has established a fire fund appeal to help Masincedinsane Pre-School and ensure the children and their families can be helped in the weeks to come.

With your assistance, Masicorp will provide second-phase support in two ways:

We are committed to put Masincedinsane Pre-School back together: in the short term by finding them temporary accommodation; in the medium term by rebuilding their school and the home of the owner Mandisa, which was also lost , and in the long term, by moving them to a fire-safe brick-built building. Rebuilding work is being undertaken by our partner NGO Project Ubuntu.

We have already started – our volunteer team will have a temporary place for them to relocate on Monday and parents will be free to go to work or, if they too have lost their homes, to make a start on rebuilding their shack.

We will also provide all the children affected by the fire from Ukhanyo primary school with a warm-for-winter track suit made by the Sewing Café – one of our partner NGO’s in the township.

We need your assistance to help these children and their families; any amount, however modest is welcome and is most appreciated.

You can donate in South Africa by EFT:

Bank name:                        Standard Bank

Account:                              Masicorp

Account No:                       374202176

Bank Code:                         036009

SWIFT:                                  SBZAZAJJ

Address:                              Main Road, Fish Hoek, 7975 Cape Town, South Africa

In the USA through our secure website HERE

In the UK through our secure website HERE

PLEASE MARK YOUR DONATION – FIRE FUND

Thank you for any help you can give.