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South Africa: Floods and Landslides - Apr 2022

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On 11-13 April, severe flooding and landslides caused by heavy rainfall affected southern and south-eastern South Africa, particularly the Provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. According to national authorities, 443 people died in KwaZulu-Natal and over 40,000 are missing. More than 40,000 people have been displaced, while nearly 4,000 houses were destroyed and more than 8,000 others were damaged, mostly across Durban City and its surrounding areas. A National State of Disaster has been declared in response to the floods and landslides, and rescue teams have been deployed to the affected areas to provide humanitarian assistance to those most affected. The International Disaster Charter 755 was activated for South Africa. On 19-20 April, moderate rainfall is forecast over north-eastern South Africa, while no heavy rainfall is expected over the already affected Provinces. (ECHO, 19 Apr 2022)

Severe flooding and landslides caused by heavy rainfall on 11-13 April caused the death of 448 people, displaced over 40,000 people and completely destroyed over 12,000 houses in the south-east part of South Africa. It also severely damaged infrastructures: roads, health centres, schools. On 18 April, the President of South Africa declared a national state of disaster due to floods severity. On 20 April, DG ECHO field mission reported massive unattended or inadequately addressed needs notably in the most remote and isolated severely affected areas. The most urgent needs are food, clean water and hygiene packs; health, care and psychological first aid (PFA); protection and education in emergencies. (ECHO, 26 Apr 2022)

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government is planning to set up 4 396 temporary accommodation sites as from the end of this week to accommodate families that are currently accommodated in community halls, churches and schools. Giving the latest update on the response to the floods in the province on Sunday, KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, said the construction of temporary residential units has started at Ilembe District, Ugu and eThekwini. Zikalala said the provincial government is finalising the assessment of some sites in Durban in terms of their suitability for construction. “We are encouraged by the support we are getting from the national government. An integrated approach involving three spheres of government is assisting to ensure speed and efficiency in the interventions,” Zikalala said. Zikalala said that although government has reprioritised R1 billion towards disaster relief interventions, the province needs more than R1.9 billion to complete the work. (Gov't of South Africa, 26 Apr 2022)

Since the original floods rains have continued and part of KwaZulu-Natal continue to be struck by devastating flooding with reports of more people being evacuated to safe areas and more roads and houses have been flooded. On 23 May, an orange level warning has been issued for disruptive rain, floodings and mudslides over the extreme north-eastern parts of KwaZulu-Natal. Six weeks later and thousands remain in evacuation shelters with an uncertain future. It's a long journey ahead for many people who have lost family member, their homes or livelihoods. As the true picture of the devastation caused by the floods emerges, many still need all help. On rebuilding homes for families, the government is working to identifying suitable land to house new settlements for the displaced. But in the meantime, thousands of people have been left homeless and are living in shelters across the province. (IFRC, 14 Jun 2022)