Save the Children is gravely concerned about the safety of children as heavy flooding claims the lives of more than 300 people including children in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal and with more heavy rains expected.
The flooding has halted education for thousands of children, destroying more than 248 schools and with many expected to close indefinitely.
Officials have called it "one of the worst weather storms in the history of our country" while President Cyril Ramaphosa linked the flooding directly to the global climate emergency.
Gugu Xaba, Save the Children South Africa’s Director of Programmes, said:
“It is very sad to see floods causing loss of lives especially children’s lives. Children and their families are not safe at home and the infrastructure available does not provide sufficient protection from harm.
SCSA is calling on local government in the eThekwini area to look into putting in place long term solutions because floods are not new to the region.
“Many children will not be able to attend school in the coming days further exacerbating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had on education. Children and their families have been displaced and have lost valuable belongings which will contribute to psychological problems that have a far reaching effect on the quality of life.
“We are calling on government and corporate leaders to come together and to take action to protect children and their families by making sure that they continue to have access to health, education, social protection systems and protection from violence, and that their rights are upheld during the flooding and beyond.”
Save the Children South Africa, has activated an emergency response taking care of immediate needs of children and their families. Interventions in place include; ensuring access to clean drinking water, food, warm clothes, blankets, shelter, safety, increasing access to medical care and psychotherapy as per need. Families who have lost their homes and schools to the floods will require long-term support to re-build.
For media interviews contact:
Yani Horn - 27792342209 [email protected]