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Emergency Alert: SA Floods

Wednesday 15 February 2023
February 2023 - Save the Children South Africa calls for the protection of children as widespread flooding and heavy rains sweep through the country. The Co-operative Governance Department (COGTA) confirmed 12 deaths due to flooding in seven provinces in the country - four people in Mpumalanga, three in Eastern Cape, and four in KwaZulu-Natal and one in Gauteng. Many others were swept away by the rains and are still missing, thousands of people have been displaced from their homes.

Following widespread destruction, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster on Monday, in an effort to tackle the crisis and to enable an intensive, coordinated response to the impact of floods.
Among those who have lost their lives, is an infant in Newcastle (KZN) who died when the family’s residence was flooded. An 18-year old learner in Mpumalanga, who was trying to cross a river was swept away and among those who are missing. Many schools, especially in Mpumalanga remain closed indefinitely, affecting the education of children.  

Save the Children is concerned about the safety of children as more heavy rains are expected. The prevalence of natural disasters in the country is increasing, affecting the safety of children, who are losing their lives, losing learning time, and whose families may be plunged into deeper poverty affecting nutrition levels and growth. Those children that are displaced could be left exposed to harm in temporary shelters. Children may be traumatized by the destruction and loss they experience affecting their mental health.

Gugu Xaba, Save the Children South Africa’s Acting CEO, said:
“It is very sad to see our country being riddled by floods once again, causing destruction and disruption in people’s lives - especially children. We’d like to urge affected communities to be vigilant, as these heavy rains are expected to continue. We’d also like to appeal to government, civil society and corporates to come together and look into putting in place long term solutions for the prevalence of floods in our country, in an effort to protect our children.”
For more information or to set up interviews contact: Chule Charlie on 063 355 0913 or [email protected]
About Save the Children South Africa
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In South Africa and around the world, we work every day to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. When crisis strikes, and children are most vulnerable, we are always among the first to respond and the last to leave. We ensure children’s unique needs are met and their voices are heard. We deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those hardest to reach.

We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.