South African Bible Society asks Christians to pray for flood-ravaged community

The Bible Society of South Africa has asked Christians worldwide to pray for those affected by storms and subsequent flooding in KwaZulu Natal province.

“Please pray for all those who have been displaced and/or who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods in the wake of the disaster. Pray for everyone who is struggling to come to terms with the sudden devastation, including staff of the Bible Society based in Durban,” reads the request.

eThekwini municipality, which includes the city of Durban, on the east coast of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal was pummeled by rains on the weekend of 10 April, causing one of the heaviest floods recorded in a day in 60 years.

According to national authorities, 123,808 people were affected, 448 people have died and over 30,000 are currently displaced, mostly in collective evacuation centres. Several dozens of people remain missing and unaccounted for. Many thousands of people have seen livelihoods destroyed as floodwaters wreaked a trail of destruction across public infrastructure and private property.

Humanitarian workers and local authorities are concerned about the likelihood of an outbreak of infectious disease as tens of thousands of people have no access to fresh water.

On Tuesday, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched an 8 million Swiss franc emergency appeal to support the South African Red Cross Society to expand the scope of their assistance as humanitarian needs continue to outpace available resources.

Ruth van Rooyen, Senior Disaster Management Officer, IFRC Country Cluster Delegation for Southern Africa said: “The communities affected by the floods were already vulnerable due to the recent civil unrest and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had left many households without a source of income.

“Just as they were trying to rebuild, another disaster hit. Humanitarian aid is stretched, and partnerships are greatly needed as we support communities in their rebuilding process. This appeal aims to help communities build back better and regain the hope lost as they watched their lives washed away by the torrents of water.”