Fire victims plead for help

Sixteen families need help to restore their lives after losing their belongings to a blazing fire at the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in Hout Bay on Wednesday 22 August.

The fire reportedly broke out at around 13:25, burning 12 shacks and four formal houses in Chris Hani Road. The cause of the fire is still unknown. A total of 25 adults and 17 children were left homeless.

On the morning of Thursday 23 August, one of the victims, Isaac Ngagya, told People’s Post he was devastated and needed help.

Ngagya and his younger brother were left homeless and had to stay at a fellow church member’s house for the night. They had been staying in their shack for three years and were unemployed.

When the incident occurred, Ngagya had just found a job, after eight months of being unemployed, and it was to be his first day at work. He said his life is now doomed as he has no documents.

“It is very bad. I am standing on the street now not knowing what to do or where to start fixing my life. We have not received help yet. We have absolutely nothing.”

He said every little bit of help will be appreciated as they need everything to start afresh.

“I do not even know what to ask for in this situation. We do not have clothes, food or material to rebuild the shack. I plead with anyone who has something to give to help us.”

He said there had been no explanation about what happened the previous day. It is not known at which house the fire actually started.

Charlotte Powell, spokesperson for the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management, says the Informal Settlements and Backyarders Department has been to do an assessment and will give starter fire kits to those affected. She says there were no injuries or fatalities at the scene.

Theo Layne, spokesperson for the City’s Fire and Rescue Services, says officials attended to the incident. He says four fire engines, one water tanker and a rescue vehicle with 24 firefighters were dispatched.V To help Isaac Ngagya, call 062 935 8118.