Imizamo Yethu Fire (March 2017):
A fire that started around midnight (unconfirmed) in Imizamo Yethu Informal Settlement, Hout Bay, has destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands homeless - City Fire and 2 helicopters are currently still bringing the blaze under control. The scenes this morning were chaotic and heartbreaking. Local communities were battling the fires using City fire hoses & water buckets in an attempt to dose the flames. The questions on the ground were - “Why aren’t the helicopters here to help us (8am)? Where are all the firefighters? When there is a small bush fire they deploy 3 helicopters and 100 firefighters, but here there is nothing!”
There are many questions and answers to debate here, however at this point in time, the most important aspect to focus on is supporting the IY community. Please drop off donations (Food, Water, Blankets etc) at the following points: Thula Thula - 1 Day Road Hout Bay /// Pick n Pays @ Hout Bay, Long Beach, Constantia & Camps Bay. /// DARG Also needs donations to assist with all the stray animals
What I can conclude from this situation is that we haven't done enough to prevent this. We haven't collectively devised effective disaster plans for Informal Settlement Fires and we haven't engaged sufficiently with communities to deter away from actions of stoning emergency vehicles.
Later this afternoon the community will need your support in moving their belongings. If you have the time to come down to Hout Bay, avoiding the main roads close to IY, please show your support.
Our Prayers and thoughts are with all those affected.