Floods in Soweto too

by sandy on January 13, 2011

The flood waters raging through the small Lochyar Valley in Queensland, Australia, peeling and rolling cars away, as if they were feathers in a breeze are terrifying to behold. The amateur video below attests to this raw destructive power.

Equally so, the eerily empty city buildings of Brisbane with water covering the streets where there should be pedestrians and traffic, as shown in this video taken today.

Our hearts go out to the communities and their families, especially those who have lost loved ones or who wait anxiously for news of those that are missing. One of our own moderators Elizabeth, heavily pregnant, wrote yesterday to say to say they had been put on standby to evacuate, as Brisbane braced for these terrible floods.

What we also see are scores of emergency workers, both State (police, emergency services) and voluntary (Red Cross, the Salvos and other organisations), working tirelessly to minimise danger to life and assist in keeping people warm and fed, while their homes are ravaged by the flood waters.

We will see much more of that too, as Australia gets behind rebuilding a State where an area the size of France and Germany combined, is currently under fast flowing flood water.

Not in the news though, certainly not in Australia and I vouch elsewhere in the world are these recent floods in Soweto and other parts of rural South Africa.

These waters will have reduced tin, cardboard and plastic shacks to ruin.

The scale of the emergency workers as seen in Australia would not be mirrored here. No international support to rebuild the shacks and creches that will have been destroyed, although the people of the province of Gauteng were reported to have been generous in their support.

You must search itinerant sources, to find out about the rising death toll, unlike the Australian disaster which is major news around the world. While we, in Australia, wake to news of another death and mourn for those families, who will know other than their families, if anyone died here? Who was swept away, who is left to grieve?

But these people too are indomitable. They will wash and clean and scrub, with little organised support or personal means.

Now more than ever, the children who live in near Klip River and Soweto, where these photographs were taken, need our support, as do their carers.

I hope that your stitching will take on an urgency as you understand the peril these children are exposed to on a daily basis, now made far worse by the capriciousness of mother nature.

Kliprivier is a normally trickling river, the banks on which the squatter camp served by Pam at Kliptown Community Centre is situated … So many of the children we saw there will have been massively affected by these floods.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mzukisi January 13, 2011 at 10:00

The floods that affected Orlando West, and Kliptown in Dec 2010 received serious media attention in South Africa. The mayor of Johannesburg even visited the affected families in Soweto. No person died as a result of these floods.

Mary January 13, 2011 at 15:25

Thank you for posting this information – I hadn’t heard about the flooding in South Africa. I am sharing this story on facebook and twitter.

Kalai January 14, 2011 at 01:27

Heartbreaking. Housebreaking for everyone around the world who is suffering but especially for those with no support, insurance, financial aid, or family. So very sad.

Kalai January 14, 2011 at 01:28


Lynn January 14, 2011 at 15:40

This is really heartbreaking, my heart goes out to them. Thank you for making us aware of this devastation.

Julia January 14, 2011 at 23:28

I have seen the pictures of the floods in Australia and in South America but I have not seen anything about the floods in Soweto on the news in England.

Zanny January 27, 2011 at 21:42

Water in that volume simply has to cause total heartbreak and havoc in the lives of millions in the world involved in such a frightening and overpowering situation. I know ALL our hearts go out to ALL affected wherever they may be, and may they have the strength to overcome eventually the loss of dear ones and their homes. Those of us unaffected simply have no idea how lucky we are.

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