First Krans­hoek ho­me re­built af­ter fi­res

Knysna-Plett Herald - - News | Nuus - Yo­lan­dé S­tan­der

Af­ter lo­sing not on­ly the roof o­ver their he­ads but al­so all they o­w­ned w­hen the Ju­ne fi­res rip­ped through P­let­ten­berg Bay last y­e­ar, the Sny­man fa­mi­ly of Krans­hoek fi­nal­ly ha­ve a pla­ce they can call ho­me, thanks to a group of lo­cal good Sa­ma­ri­tans.

The Sny­man’s ho­me was one of se­ver­al ho­mes in Krans­hoek that went up in fla­mes w­hen the tra­ge­dy hit on 7 Ju­ne 2017. A group of re­si­dents in­vol­ved in re­lief ef­forts we­re so tou­ched by the dif­fi­cul­ties the re­si­dents of t­his very poor com­mu­ni­ty on the out­skirts of P­lett had to en­d­u­re du­ring t­his ti­me that they felt the need to in­ter­ve­ne.

Dis­rup­ted com­mu­ni­ty

Most of the re­si­dents in the a­rea af­fected by the fi­res lost e­ver­y­thing they o­w­ned and we­re for­ced to seek shel­ter with friends or fa­mi­ly. So­me e­ven had to li­ve in the backy­ards of a­cquain­tan­ces as they did not ha­ve the fi­nan­ci­al me­ans to re­build their ho­mes. A­mong the re­si­dents who felt com­pel­led to help the Krans­hoek com­mu­ni­ty we­re Ma­ri­us Ven­ter, Sal­ly Tur­ner and Ne­vil­le Pe­ter­son who, soon af­ter the fi­res, star­ted the P­lett Fi­re Fund NPO.

“The aim was to re­sto­re the dig­ni­ty of t­he­se re­si­dents,” says Ven­ter. By last month they had ma­na­ged to rai­se mo­re than R800 000, of which the big­ge­st por­ti­on, a­bout R500 000, ca­me from the Lub­ner Fund and a­bout R300 000 from the ma­yo­ral di­sas­ter fund.

Af­ter ha­ving all the plans ap­pro­ved, the te­am em­bar­ked on the first ho­me re­build. Each ho­me they plan on buil­ding will be a­bout 50sq m and in­clu­de all the a­me­ni­ties nee­ded to li­ve com­for­ta­bly. Ven­ter says they are u­sing a pro­duct cal­led S­tum­ble­bloc to con­struct the ho­mes. He ex­plains that the bricks fit to­get­her li­ke Le­go and are very e­a­sy to work with. It does not re­qui­re spe­ci­a­li­sed skills to use and the­re­fo­re the com­mu­ni­ty and the fa­mi­lies are part of the buil­ding pro­cess.

3 mont­hs in the ma­king

Art­hur Kays­ter from Art­hur’s Won­ders was in­vol­ved in the buil­ding pro­cess of the Sny­man ho­me. Each is es­ti­ma­ted to cost a­bout R150 000 to com­ple­te. Ven­ter says it took them a­bout three mont­hs to com­ple­te the ho­me. “T­he­re we­re qui­te a few chal­len­ges, from se­wera­ge to e­lec­tri­ci­ty and wa­ter, but e­ver­y­thing tur­ned out well in the end,” he says.

W­hen Win­ston Sny­man, who will be mo­ving in­to his new ho­me with his wi­fe and three child­ren, wal­ked in­to the ho­me for the first ti­me, he was o­ver­w­hel­med with e­mo­ti­on.

He says the i­ni­ti­a­ti­ve has re­sto­red his faith in hu­ma­ni­ty and that he now knows t­he­re are pe­op­le out t­he­re who fol­low through on pro­mi­ses ma­de.

“I just want to thank e­very sin­gle per­son who dug in­to their own poc­kets to help ma­ke t­his a re­a­li­ty. My fa­mi­ly and I ap­pre­ci­a­te it so very much,” Sny­man said.

Ven­ter says they are far from do­ne and will start buil­ding the next two ho­mes short­ly.

P­ho­tos: E­wald S­tan­der

Krans­hoek fi­re victim Win­ston Sny­man and P­lett Fi­re Fund mem­ber Ma­ri­us Ven­ter in­spect Sny­man’s new ho­me.

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