Leigh Morris a Cole and Marmalade fan who lives in Cape Town, contacted us this week asking if we could help raise awareness about the tragic situation in nearby Hout Bay. I asked her to write about what happened, we’ll be donating to help and when I visit South Africa later this year, I’ll be sure to visit DARG and the effected area to report on the great work they do…
Hout Bay Fire, South Africa – March 12th, 2017
The second week of March is synonymous with the Cape Town Cycle Tour – the world’s largest timed cycle race – however, this year, its cancellation was overshadowed by a great human tragedy in the area of Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay, a suburb of Cape Town in South Africa.
South Africa’s Apartheid history created numerous areas around the country which are called ‘Townships’. These are underdeveloped urban living areas which historically were reserved for non-whites. The country has been working hard to develop these areas and assist the residents with infrastructure and Reconstruction and Development Programmes (RDP) houses. Imizamo Yethu is a large township in the affluent suburb of Hout Bay. The area is estimated to house over 35 000 people, many of whom are immigrants from surrounding African countries in search of work.
On Saturday, 11th of March, a fire swept through the informal settlement high up on the mountainside. The fire ravaged the area, leaving 15 000 people homeless, and a number dead. The community of Hout Bay and the greater area of Cape Town have rallied together and numerous organizations are on ground zero setting up structures to assist these residents in rebuilding their lives. (See fire footage here)
What is often forgotten about in tragedies such as this are the pets and stray animals that also live in the area. “DARG is a pro-life organisation that rescues, cares for, sterilizes and re-homes abused, neglected and abandoned cats and dogs” and they have been working tirelessly to rescue the pets and stray animals trapped in the rubble.
This weekend alone, they have rescued over 100 cats and dogs from Imizamo Yethu and are housing them at their shelter just opposite the settlement. See a new video report here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXTzmB2bpkk
This shelter also houses many lost and stray animals who are still searching for their homes. DARG is often stretched thin but after this weekend’s tragedy, the shelter is in desperate need of additional funds to feed, water, and house the pets whilst the community’s homes are rebuilt. Many of the rescued animals are being treated for burn wounds and DARG needs assistance in covering these vet bills. The shelter is also working on sterilizing the animals that are coming through its doors in order to lessen the number of stray animals in the informal settlement, and surrounding area.
This wonderful shelter really needs assistance and would appreciate anything that you are able to give. To donate please use one of these two methods:
Payfast – https://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/darg
Direct bank details – http://darg.org.za/donate/
The community of Imizamo Yethu and Hout Bay, South Africa thanks you!