The Motswasejane family has been left homeless after cyclone Dineo that hit the country a couple of weeks ago, tore apart the mud hut that the already poverty-stricken family called home.
“In a split second, everything was gone. We now live where we can, today we are crammed in my grandmother’s one room, tomorrow will sort itself out,” says Gorataone Motswasejane. Based in Mokhomba, a settlement not far from the mining town of Jwaneng, the 29-year old sobs as she looks around the jumbled mess that a few weeks ago was a home she shared with a mother (59), four siblings aged 14,11,10 and her son (seven). It is certainly a stressful situation for the young mother, who says her family just needs a little help, a place to stay until she gets on her two feet. “It was barely liveable but it was home.
Now we literally have nothing. I don’t know how and when we will rebuild since I’m not even able to help my mother,” said Gorataone who until recently was the family’s sole breadwinner.She is bed-ridden, having been diagnosed with Tuberculosis and Meningitis late last year. Gorataone studied painting and decorating at CITF and for a while, she said things were a little better because she could do ‘piece-jobs’ and other menial jobs at construction sites in Gaborone.“I was able to help with food and other stuff but now I have become an even bigger burden for my mother,” she said. Now the Motswasejanes struggle to find food daily.
Gorataone said apart from welfare assistance, the food package, which doesn’t even last two weeks, they survive by only what people give to them. When the Botswana Guardian team visited the family, she broke down a few times. “I have been through a lot in my life, my whole family actually as my mother struggled to raise us and now my child will grow up in the same situation of constantly fighting to survive one more day. It breaks my heart,” she said.
She told this publication that the family has long swallowed their pride and are pleading for assistance. “If we can just have a place of our own where we can lay our heads, it will be one less thing to worry about”. There is an immediate need to build another hut; through, she hopes, the assistance of volunteers. But ultimately, she dreams that a Good Samaritan or government can finally build them a proper house, which will give them dignity.