South Africa News

Tropical Cyclone Eloise: Limpopo distributes relief packages to flood-ravaged communities

The Limpopo provincial department of social development on Monday says it has started distributing relief to households affected by localized floods in the Vhembe and Mopani Districts.

So far, an assessment by social workers and community development practitioners, and other government officials identified 78 families based mainly in the Vhembe District.

Other affected families are in the Thulamela, Collins Chabane, Musina, Makhado, and Greater Letaba local municipalities.

“The teams of dedicated social workers and community development practitioners, as well as disaster management officers from the district and local municipalities, are hard at work assisting the affected households,” Limpopo MEC for social development, Nkakareng Rakgoale, said.

“Our social workers are also providing psychosocial support to the affected individuals. We urge our communities to exercise extreme caution to ensure that we do not have casualties in areas that have been hit by this disaster and also ensure that children and other vulnerable groups don’t get anywhere near water-locked areas.”

The Limpopo department of social development said the relief packages, in the form of food parcels, dignitary packs, blankets, and other basic amenities are currently being distributed to the affected households.

Some families were displaced as a result of the incessant rain linked to the devastating tropical cyclone Eloise which wrecked parts of in Mozambique over the weekend.

Limpopo authorities said the number of affected community members may increase as assessments are continuing in the affected areas.

Earlier on Monday, Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza warned farmers, particularly in the Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, about cyclone Eloise, urging them to implement additional safety measures.

The tropical cyclone wreaked havoc in neighbouring Mozambique’s coastal Sofala province over the weekend, before weakening and heading inland, dumping heavy rain in Zimbabwe, eSwatini – formerly known as Swaziland – and South Africa.

“Based on the information issued by South African Weather Services regarding Cyclone Eloise that has landed already in the northeastern parts of the country and expected to affect the following provinces heavily namely Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, farmers in these provinces are likely to be affected,” Didiza’s spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo said.

Ngcobo said farmers should consider additional safety measures such as removing irrigation equipment from flood plains to avoid damage from flooding, avoiding planting below flood plains or close to riverbanks, relocating other movable assets including moving livestock to higher ground, and keeping up to date with advice being regularly given through the media.

As a longer-term precaution, the department of agriculture, land reform, and rural development has advised farmers to vaccinate their livestock against diseases associated with wet conditions and implement measures to reduce loss of topsoil.

-African News Agency

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