New Years Day fire in Khayelitsha

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A fire started at 5 AM on New Years Day in the informal settlement of BM in Khayelitsha (township of over 750,000 people outside Cape Town) leaving 4000 people homeless and 15 people dead. The devastation occurred due to the fact that this informal settlement is not accessible for the fire trucks and fire fighters to access the homes. The other reason the fire spread so quickly was due to the strong winds that are common in Cape Town this time of year. Due to the quick response from the organization Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) ( many families are being temporarily housed in a nearby community hall where TAC has started to distribute clothes, toiletries and food donated by TAC members and members of the community.

For people who already live without the basic needs of decent shelter, food, sanitation, clean water and clothing this fire has left them with nothing. School will commence mid January and many children will not have school uniforms or supplies to begin the school year with and many will not even be able to attend due to the costs that they will incur due to this catastrophe.

The BM area will be leveled and the city is working to identify areas that will be able to be rebuilt by adding streets and more water taps.

Acacia Global has a strong relationship with TAC and the people who live in this community and therefore we know that we have a responsibility to assist TAC in bringing dignity back into these families lives. Acacia Global’s donation will help in building homes for 12 families that TAC has identified as the most needy. I often wonder how we decide who is most needy and how to choose one family over another when so many need assistance. As we have experienced in the past, our trust in the leadership of TAC reassures us that we are doing the best we can one family at a time. The support we have received from very generous donors enables us to assist these families. Thank you for giving us the ability to improve lives one by one…

Susan Everson