Press Release

The United Nations in South Africa empathises with the families affected by flooding in the KwaZulu – Natal and Eastern Cape provinces

14 April 2022

Pretoria – The Acting Resident Coordinator and head of the United Nations in South Africa, Mr. Ayodele Odusola, is saddened by the increasing death toll following the catastrophic floods in the Kwazulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces earlier this week.

“We share the sentiments expressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, that indeed this is devastating and we as the UN in South Africa express our condolences to the families of the victims who have lost their lives. We call on the private sector, CSOs, and the international community to support government to provide much needed assistance to the families impacted by this catastrophic  flooding.” The UN South Africa support follows the signing of an MOU in July last year with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in the wake of the 2019 floods and the July 2021 civil unrest.

“The UN in South Africa stands ready to extend our support to the government’s response and to the communities affected, many of whom experienced the same devastation in 2019.  Families residing on the embankments of rivers in informal settlements and already vulnerable are seeing their homes being washed away, walls and roofs collapsing and losing family members.”

The UN in South Africa notes with concern the impact of the flooding in the Eastern Cape province in areas such as Port St. Johns, Greens Farm and other areas where communities are being forced to leave their homes as many homes are submerged in water, and urge communities to exercise caution especially when crossing rivers, streams and roads that are reportedly impassable.

“These recurring flood events are a stark reminder that a just transition in South Africa requires not only focusing on decarbonization but also paying strong attention to adaptation.”

Our town planners must rise to the occasion of this devastating challenge by ensuring houses are not built on waterways and extant town planning laws are implemented without fear or favour.  

We are also concerned about media reports in KZN of looting and theft of goods and commodities. “We appeal to communities, that this is a time to come together and help each other.”

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For interviews and media enquiries, please contact Zeenat Abdool, UN South Africa - Associate Public Information Officer, at abdool@un.org or 0827788080

The United Nations in South Africa empathises with the families affected by flooding in the KwaZulu – Natal and Eastern Cape provinces

Zeenat Abdool

Zeenat Abdool

UNIC
Communications Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
IFAD
International Fund for Agricultural Development
ILO
International Labour Organization
IOM
International Organization for Migration
OHCHR
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UNAIDS
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
UNEP
United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIDO
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
WFP
World Food Programme
WHO
World Health Organization