Durban – Due to the damages to water infrastructure and water outages in certain suburbs by the recent floods, an NGO stepped in to assist the Phoenix Mortuary in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.
Vice-chairperson of the KZN undertakers forum and ActionSA councillor Ahmed Paruk facilitated the donation of a 5 000-litre water tank to assist the mortuary in Phoenix as it is currently operating without a regular water supply. It was done in conjunction with Jamiatul Ulama KZN.
ActionSA provincial spokesperson Busi Radebe said when they visited the mortuary they found that queues were “devastatingly long as flood victims were waiting for post-mortems to be done”.
Radebe said this has put tremendous pressure on the system. The much-needed water will assist staff and families waiting at the mortuary.
Paruk said that on Wednesday, there were 445 bodies in various government mortuaries ie. Pinetown, Phoenix and Park Rynie.
Paruk said the mortuary in Park Rynie did not have water since Thursday, forcing officials to move bodies to other mortuaries including the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital to carry out post-mortems.
“Families are emotional and distraught. All due respect must be given to the Department of Health for working around the clock to clear the backlog. The SAPS is also assisting in collecting bodies from various flood-hit areas. Everybody working in the undertaker business and health department staff are fatigued. I am working for 18 hours a day non-stop to assist where I can,” Paruk said.
Water outages have affected Isipingo Beach, south of Durban. Jamiatul Ulama KZN stated that the area has a diverse mix of races living side by side. Due to a constant shortage of water in the area, the Project HELP team received a request for a Jojo tank to be installed in a local public school.
“The Jamiatul Ulama KZN acknowledges and appreciates the support received from its well-wishers and donors, without whom these projects would not be possible,” the organisation stated.