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Turkiye extends helping hand to flood-hit people in South Africa

Aid packages prepared with the donations of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) during the holy month of Ramadan on April 14, 2022 in Baghdad, Iraq. [Murtadha al-Sudani - Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Embassy in Pretoria and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), on Friday, delivered food packages in the KwaZulu-Natal state in eastern South Africa to assist hundreds of families affected by floods that wreaked havoc on the region on 11 April, Anadolu News Agency reports.

An aid distribution ceremony was held in the Umgungundlovu district of KwaZulu-Natal with the participation of Turkish Ambassador, Aysegul Kandas, Social Development Deputy Minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, State Social Development Council member, Nonhlanhla Mildred Khoza, TIKA's Pretoria Coordinator, Abdulkadir Abukan, and local representatives.

Ambassador Kandas stated that Turkish officials visited the flood-hit areas and took the initiative to assist the devastated local people.

Briefing the participants on 34 projects TIKA has undertaken so far in the country, the envoy noted more aid material would follow soon.

Council Member, Khoza, expressed gratitude for Turkiye's efforts to assist people in need.

After the ceremony, 250 families hit by floods were handed over food packages.

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On 11 April, the city of Durban and surrounding regions, described as South Africa's gateway to the Indian Ocean, were hit by the worst floods recorded in the past 34 years.

With 300 millilitres of rain falling per square meter, floods and landslides were triggered in the region, which killed more than 400 people. The natural disaster displaced over 40,000 people and the material damage was estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.

The floods also hit the Port of Durban, the country's most important port and logistics centre, prompting officials to declare a national state of emergency.

The infrastructure in the region with 4 million people was severely damaged, causing such a crisis in terms of water and power that the army dispatched 10,000 personnel to assist people in the disaster-hit areas.

Experts argue the recent flooding has been the worst since 1987, and climate change might have caused the heavy rainfall.

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