On 19 June 2020 a resident from Extension 10 community in Eldorado Park, Althea Forster (41) lost her home due to a fire. On the evening of 19 June 2020, Ms Forster’s son told Karibu! that he arrived home and saw smoke emitting from one of the windows. After further investigation he saw that the living room was on fire. He started screaming for help and tried to extinguish the fire with a bucket of water from the outside tap. Neighbours arrived and started doing the same, but the fire had already spread towards the bedrooms. Fire fighters arrived on the scene 15 minutes later.
Althea Foster had inherited the home from her late father, and was living in it with her young daughter and her adult son. She and her daughter had been visiting a friend when the fire broke out; and so was her son. The house is said to have had faulty wiring, which allegedly caused the fire. The family lost all their belongings in the fire and has since been staying with a relative. Community members have been donating essential items like clothing, toiletries and food to the family.
Many people have lost their homes during this lockdown as a result of many factors such as sudden unemployment, forced removals, evictions (regardless of the Government Regulations) and disasters like fire, bad weather conditions and floods. People are already struggling to get by during these trying times and now they are also losing the little that they have. The government said that they will provide some assistance yet many people are still suffering. The R350,00 per month Relief Funds that people were promised has not been received consistently; some received it once while others are receiving it every 2 months or so.
The Government needs to make better provision to assist communities, especially now during such hard times. Things are even worse now that we are in winter. There are still hundreds of thousands of homeless people currently who find it hard to provide themselves with even the bare necessities. All these people need help but little is being done to assist them.
This article was submitted on 24 July 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.