Sadly, another 200 houses have to be demolished as various engineers have declared them unsafe for habitation. All these additional families have turned to us not to leave them stranded. We cannot walk away. We are now going to provide 350 new temporary homes; an additional 100 homes need roof repair and various degrees of renovation which we are also assisting with. Stationery kits were handed out to 200 children but the need is substantially more, which we have partially addressed over the weekend. What has been a revelation is the exponential increase in the number of hungry people arriving at our "wet" feeding daily which has put additional demands on our teams to ensure more pots of food are on the boil.
Trauma counselling teams have already commenced their activities and will continue throughout this week. The additional requirements in all categories of relief has increased our response to R5 million. Sanitary pads, disposable nappies, personal and household hygiene packs, blankets and water have been provided by us. Pot sets, crockery and mattresses are on the cards. We appreciate all the fantastic contributions thus far, the visit at Duduza by donors, corporate companies, volunteers and religious leaders late into the night. We welcome further assistance especially in housing reconstruction.
Two community-counselling Psychologists and one Social Worker were involved in providing trauma debriefing to community members in the affected area, Sadiyya Haffejee, Hanifa Ebrahim and Hawa Hoosen.
A total of 7 group sessions were held, with approx 10-13 per group. Ages varied. 1 individual session was held.
All sessions generally followed the same format and used art therapy as a medium to elicit information. Sessions focused on containing and normalizing symptoms and providing some basic education. Where mums joined in (as in one of the groups, the therapist used it as an opportunity to debrief the mothers as well). Children displayed symptoms of PTSD, including hyper vigilance, anxiety and nightmares. Emerging issues concerned fear of the tornado returning, uncertainty as to the course of such an occurrence and general anxiety over living conditions. Beliefs that the tornado was a snake appeared dominant and appear to be reinforced by parents and seem to be linked with traditional superstition.
During the session, children were asked about what makes them happy and interestingly in one of the groups, the majority of children replied flowers, gardens and trees are a source of comfort and happiness. This ties in with one recommendation i.e. the establishment of a food/veggie garden. Establishing something that they are able to take ownership of which would ensure sustainability of the intervention and could lead to greater empowerment.