Flood victims cry out for help

Some of the disaster victims that were affected by the storms and rains that ripped through the village of Mahalapye towards the end of last year have complained that the disaster committee that promised to assist them after the disaster do not want to deliver on their promise.

The complainants say that none of the disaster committee members want to be associated with the fallen promise.
The victims who had their house collapsing, windows shattered, corrugated irons blown away by the powerful winds claim that for almost a year now, they have waited but to no avail since they have last had their names jotted down on a piece of paper. Some have now given up. Others even renovated their own houses and others will not give up but keep pestering the authorities who are reluctant to assist them.

Despite the weather updates and reports from the Meteorological Services of the abnormal coming heavy rains, the council authorities remain unperturbed. The weather bureau predicts normal to abnormal rains that will exceed 200mm in the coming rainy season, something unknown to the residents.

Mahalapye has been rocked by floods in the past that destroyed most residents' houses also killing people.

Most of the residents from Madiba Ward, through Tlhomadithotse Ward, past Botalaote, via Xhosa 1 and Boseja, live on the banks of the Mahalapye River and they have on numerous occasions been affected by the overflowing river.  Some residents have also fallen victim trying to cross the flooded river that meanders through Mahalapye.

However, for Bopang Mfokeng, 59, a resident of Mahalapye, the authorities are perpetual deceivers who have failed and they frustrated them for a long time and now she is about to give up.

She alleged that she lost her corrugated sheets, had the windows to her house shattered and the utensils broken during the stormy and furious rains that ripped through the village, but the authorities have never delivered.

"As I'm talking to you now their tent is still there but non of them have ever sat their foot in my yard since the disaster. There have given others the blankets but look at me. Nothing!" she exclaimed. The young lady who only identified herself as Mpho, said that the authorities were frequently frustrating them with their efforts since the rains.

Mpho, who lives with two orphans, said things are tough for her as she is now forced to take care of the children out of her pocket. She claimed that during the rain storms, she lost her certificates, plates and chairs which were destroyed when the house she lived in collapsed. But to date, she has never been assisted.

Contacted for comment at the recent gathering at Mahalapye's main Kgotla to welcome the legendary Commonwealth 400m Gold Medalist, Amantle Montsho, together with her team, the Principal Community Develepment Officer, Opelo Mongwa, denied that victims werepromised anything. "All I know is that they are normally assisted with donations such as the ones you see that have just been donated by BAA (Botswana Athletics Association)," she noted.

The BAA donated about 30 duvets and blankets, pillows and sheets to the disaster victims as a sign of remorse and compassion to the disaster victims.

The BAA President, Moses Bantsi, briefed the residents about their performance at the recently held Commonwealth Games in New Dehli, India.

Editor's Comment
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