Expectant mothers who were victims of fire that swept through Joe Slovo informal settlements in Langa over the Easter weekend, received much needed maternity packs including clothes and other utensils last week.
The donation was made by non-profit organisation Malihambe Women Outreach.
The organisation’s Nosipho Daniles said it was vital for everyone to come to assist not only residents but the pregnant women, in particular, so as to ensure that their unborn babies arrived in a healthy environment.
“People always think about the old people, forgetting the unborn babies. That is why we thought, let us do something different. They are in need of assistance. Remember they lost everything in the fire,” she said.
Ms Daniels said they identified 10 women from the Joe Slovo Informal Settlement but concede that they may have missed others. “These are the women that we saw. There might be others somewhere and elsewhere. We are still trying to get more packs for them and should we manage to, we will come back and give them out,” she said.
The victims said the fire that gutted their houses changed their lives for the worse and that they now have to stay in community halls or with relatives.
One of them, Bukelwa Nkumanda, said: “It is not easy to lose a house and all your belongings but we are trying our best to be strong. What makes things worse is that winter is nearer. I live with my sisters and children. We are six in all. But we managed to save some of our documents from the fire and that is a bit of a relief,” she said.
Ms Nkumanda added that she was was delighted to have few things before she gave birth. “My child will arrive better. By the time I give birth I think I will at least have more clothing and other needed things. But I must say, the organisation has been helpful to us. The little that they gave us means a lot to us and I speak on behalf of others too,” she said.
Another mother-to-be, Khululwa Goboza was also grateful to receive the donation. “I saved a few things of my own but things like cupboards and bags were gutted. With these donations, I am grateful, I will not spend a lot now. We have been promised that there is more coming our way. That is a good sign of ubuntu. We are truly happy to have people thinking about pregnant mothers too,” she said.
The residents said it is becoming unbearable to live in the informal settlement of Langa where they are often affected by fires.
Speaking at the handover, Ward 52 councillor Thembelani Nyamakazi thanked the donors for thinking about the Langa fire victims, adding that he could not wait for the eradication of informal settlements.
“Different donors came to Langa and did good work. I truly thank them all. But this one is a different one. We always think about seniors and forget the unborn babies. I am delighted with this. I wish the mothers well and their unborn babies,” he said.