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Gift of the Givers to build 80 houses for flood-affected families in Durban

30 April 2019 - 11:58 By NIVASHNI NAIR
Imtiaz Sooliman's Gift of the Givers is helping those affected by the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal.
Imtiaz Sooliman's Gift of the Givers is helping those affected by the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

Humanitarian aid group, Gift of the Givers, will build 80 new homes for flood-affected families in Durban.

The organisation's founder Dr Imitiaz Sooliman told TimesLIVE on Tuesday that the new homes would be built in the BottleBrush settlement, south of Durban.

"Based on their cry for shelter and of course, because of generous support of SA including large corporate support, we can rebuild new homes for these victims at a cost of R25,000 each," he said.

BottleBrush was among several areas in and around Durban hit by flooding as a result of torrential rains last week. The new homes are to be built once the municipality allocates land.

The floods claimed 70 lives and caused widespread damage and destruction estimated at R1bn.

Sooliman explained that, since its establishment 27 years ago, the organisation has a standard approach in the initial phase.

"The standard approach is to provide hot meals, blankets, food parcels, new clothing, hygiene packs and other relevant items."

In many cases the organisation supplied material to help communities rebuild their existing shacks.

"In certain cases if people were given a new piece of land we do take a decision to build homes. We built homes in Khayelitsha several years ago that was followed by homes in Alexandra, which in essence has become the prototype for a model village in informal settlements," Sooliman said.

Hours after the floods struck KwaZulu-Natal, Gift of the Givers volunteers were on the ground to assist.

"Gift of the Givers always responds to disasters. That's our specialty. That's how we were founded. Our first project was to respond to the civil war in Bosnia," Sooliman said.

The organisation provided flood relief to:

  • 50 people who lost their homes in Margate. They were moved to a creche and were provided with food daily. The organisation will supply building materials to them this week to rebuild their homes.
  • 100 families in an informal settlement in Quarry Road, near Reservoir Hills. Food hampers, blankets, tubs, towels and 10kg maize meal were distributed.
  • 50 families in Umlazi L section where houses washed away. Food hampers and blankets were given to each family.
  • 150 Mangosuthu University of Technology students, who received blankets, jackets, shoes and food hampers.