Devastating fires in Knysna and surrounding towns have caused a trail of destruction and forced thousands to evacuate their property. Many lost their homes and several, their lives. The fire was propelled by strong winds from a storm that ravaged the affected area since Wednesday.
Damage in the Eden District so far is said to be beyond calculable, reports Overstrand Fire Chief, Lester Smith. “Our Firefighters from across the country are still working on containing fires around Knysna and we ask residents to please stay away from those areas,” he requested. Chief Smith also reminded motorists to give way to emergency vehicles.
Many Overstrand residents, various businesses, and charities have answered a call for much-needed donations for those who have lost everything. These have already been delivered during the past weekend, thanks to kind people who made their vehicles available and gave up their time to make the deliveries.
The Overstrand’s Fire and Rescue Service has dispatched teams of firefighters and equipment to assist with active firefighting along the Garden Route.
“Every donation, regardless of the size, will make a huge difference to those impacted by the fire. Please, may we request you mark clearly what you are donating where possible” said Executive Mayor Rudolph Smith.
The Overstrand Municipality has made drop-off points available for donations which will be taken to Knysna to assist victims of the fire.
Good Samaritans who would still like to assist with donations to victims affected can do so by dropping off goods at the Hermanus Fire & Rescue & Disaster Management offices in 14 Mussel Road, Hermanus Industrial Area. They are open 24 hours per day.
To help the #KnysnaFire victims, the list of suggested items are as follows:
- Blankets and towels
- Baby, Kids and Adults clothes/ shoes
- Baby stuff (formula, nappies - size: baby to toddler)
- Basic Toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, Shampoo, Conditioner)
- Sanitary pads
- Adult nappies
- Non-perishable foods (rice, porridge, tea, coffee, sugar, rusks, dried fruit, etc.) and sealed bottled water
- Household items (kitchen, bedding – sheets, blankets, mattresses, pillows, etc)
- Stationery items (pens, paper, books)
- School supplies
- School satchels for learners
- Cell phone chargers
- Old cell phones
For small domestic animals
- Dog food
- Cat food
- Food and water bowls
For the firefighters:
- Energy bars
- Bottled Water
- Soft drinks (500ml and smaller to make it easy to distribute)
- Eye drops
- Batteries: sizes AA/AAA and D-Cell