Pretoria – The United Nations in South Africa today contributed relief supplies to residents of the City of Tshwane who were affected by recent floods. The supplies were presented by the head of the UN in South Africa, Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, and received by the city’s Acting Executive Mayor, Cllr. Abel Tau, on behalf of the flood victims.
The UN relief supplies included 500 blankets, 500 mattresses and 600 hygiene kits, 300 for men and 300 for women.
Speaking at the handover ceremony held in Pretoria, Ms. Bekele-Thomas said the UN was ready to support the people of South Africa and to mobilize resources “for those in need to make sure they are taken care of. While our support is also for long-term development assistance, climate change was exposing more people to frequent disasters who will need immediate relief.” She appealed to local authorities, including those in provincial and national governments, to formulate sustainable solutions designed to mitigate the effects of climate change such as floods and droughts.
In his speech, the Acting Executive Mayor thanked the UN for coming to the rescue of the city’s residents, adding that the city was “truly grateful to the UN’s support, not just in words but in action.” The mayor also alluded to the threats caused by climate change and appealed to people to start changing their life styles. “We have to face the new realities of climate change,” he said.
Last week, the UN team led by Ms. Bekele-Thomas, visited the communities affected by the floods in Mamelodi, Pretoria, and met with the community residents and the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura. During the visit, the UN committed to provide technical expertise to support the Provincial Technical Team in assessing the floods damage and, to the extent possible, to provide material support to affected members of the community.