Heavy storms leave villagers destitute

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The Aganang Municipality in Limpopo has been hit hard after several villages were destroyed by the heavy storms that lashed the province in the past few days.

At least 18 villages have fallen victim to the storms that have left most households in Moletjie, outside Polokwane, devastated.

Several schools and houses have had their roofs blown away and walls collapsed as a result of the storms.

Spokesman for the municipality, Noko Lebea, told Sowetan yesterday that disaster management officials had gone out to the villages to assess the impact of the damage.

She said tents would be supplied to the families that had been left homeless.

"The mayor has committed herself to do everything possible to assist communities whose properties have been destroyed by the strong winds and heavy storms," Lebea said.

She said the municipality was awaiting a report from its officials about the extent of the damage before implementing measures to assist the affected families.

"Based on the preliminary report from the villages, it is clear that most people have been left stranded after losing their properties to the natural disaster.

"But we want to appeal to communities not to start pressing panic buttons because, as a caring municipality, we are going to speed up the process of ensuring that our people are well looked after," she said.

According to Lebea, it was not the first time that the villages have gone through such an experience.

"It was around this time last year when a storm hit the villages, destroying houses and other buildings. The same thing happened in previous years when roads became inaccessible, leaving villagers working outside the municipality stranded because bridges had been swept away.

"But we always have a way of dealing with these unexpected events. We are hopeful that we will overcome these ones," a confident Lebea said.

Ndo Mangala, a spokesman for the department of education, said they were aware of about six schools that had been blown away in the Capricorn District.