Helping Hand Extended to Disaster Stricken

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Various Windhoek-based businesses last week responded generously to the plight of Aus-senkehr farm residents who a fortnight ago were left homeless by heavy rains. Standard Bank Namibia donated blankets worth N$10 000 while Namib Mills gave 30 x 40 kilograms of pasta, 30x 50 kilograms of biscuit flour, and 10 x 50 kilograms of maize meal all valued at N$4 000. Other businesses such as Meatco gave canned beef to the value of N$2 000 while Fruit & Veg City donated greens valued at N$15 000. Other foods such as long life milk and yogurt were received from Namibia Dairies, Supra Sales and Indo Atlantic. On Thursday last week, a truckload of different foodstuffs and blankets left for Noordoewer where these items were to be distributed to about 1000 people. Strong winds accompanied by heavy rain completely destroyed about 200 shacks, washing them into the Orange River, and in the process leaving residents with practically nothing except the clothes on their bodies. The heavy rains that dropped between 60 and 95 millimetres over the surrounding Karas Mountains collected in the dry river bed where these reed shacks were built, leading to flooding of the valley and total destruction of the settlement of farm workers. The Aussenkehr settlement where the seasonal workers reside belongs to the International Grape Company. Human resources manager of the company Frik Conradie earlier told New Era that the workers’ furniture, clothes and personal belongings were washed away with the reed houses. The company is currently busy assisting the affected workers by accommodating them in pack houses, whilst volunteers provide them with food parcels. A list of names of those people who lost their goods was compiled while three days’ humanitarian leave was also granted to the affected workers to enable them to deal with the situation.