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South Africa: Authorities distribute food in aftermath of flooding

Mekemeke villagers, by Mhlambanyatsi River, on February 16, 2023.   -  
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South Africa

Villagers in Mekemeke in Mpumalanga, along the banks of the river have been cutoff for over a week since the recent rains. The villagers were given food parcels by local government officials, together with non governmental organisations. Villagers have been unable to go to shops to buy food supplies and children have also not been able to go to schools.

_"We have two hundred and sixty nine foot bridges that have been washed away by the rain, and we have eighteen big bridges that have been washed away, you can imagine how difficult it is for those communities to cross and try to buy food, they are unable to do that._We have almost one thousand eight hundred and fifteen families that are without shelter, some of their homes they have been washed away by the rains, some they are full of water," said Phindile Pertunia Magagula, Nkomazi Municipality Mayor.

Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape were the most affected by the floods, brought on by heavy rains, local inhabitants were relieved by the food supplies.

"These people have been very afraid, they were afraid of not having food, their houses are damaged, they didn't know what they were going to eat, but now we are thankful that government has arrived, and they brought food with them, and this will help us to get by, I'm thankful," shared Alpheus Thwala, a villager.

The famed Kruger National Park, a tourist magnet bordering Mozambique and the largest reserve in South Africa, was badly affected.

The bad weather -- which is expected to last for the rest of the week -- struck the east, north and south, claiming lives in four of South Africa's nine provinces.

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