KZN Floods | Environmental activist says government should ensure that communities don’t build in low-lying areas

Environmental activist and coordinator for South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, Desmond D’sa says the government, especially the eThekwini municipality, must ensure that communities do not build structures in low-lying areas.

He says government must begin to relocate people away from the rivers and places always affected by floods.

The weekend’s floods are the second incident of this magnitude to hit the city and surrounding areas in the last two months

“The flood that happened is directly linked to climate change, is the indication that our government does plan for resilience as well as the govt doesn’t take into consideration to ensure that we build structures away from the flood areas, away from the rivers. We should never allow any home or any industry to go up on flood plain. We should start moving people away from those areas and rehabilitate those areas from what originally was,” says D’sa .

Scores of houses and roads have been flooded in Esikhaleni (Esikhawini) Empangeni. #KZNFloods #sabcnews

— MaMthiyane (@skhangiwem) May 23, 2022

KZN disaster management assists residents affected by the floods

Disaster management teams are in uMdloti, north of Durban, trying to assist residents who have been affected by the weekend’s storms.

Last month, over 400 people lost their lives to similar weather conditions.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala is in the area on Monday to assess the extent of the damage.

Video: KwaZulu-Natal Floods Media briefing

Road, water and electricity infrastructure were not spared.

Provincial government spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso says the waterworks in uMdloti have been severely damaged.

“Second storms in the last 48 hours. KwaZulu-Natal Premier and members of the executive council and all disaster teams are already conducting assessments [of] the damage. They are also interacting with residents that have been affected,” adds Mabaso.

“They will then be ensuring that government is able to mount a response to the situation. Already you can see the disaster teams are starting to work. Water has been disrupted. They are trying to work and connect whatever they can connect,” explains Mabaso.


Video: Minister Mondli Gungubele updates on government’s flood disaster efforts in KwaZulu-Natal

Video: KZN on red level 10 warning, as authorities brace for more floods

Meanwhile, climate change expert professor, Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi says while the impact of heavy rains that led to flooding overnight in KwaZulu-Natal, is not at the scale of last month’s devastating floods that left hundreds dead, and scores homeless, there’s still concern that a lot of people remain vulnerable, as a result of the situation.

Scientists believe the south-eastern coast of Africa is becoming more vulnerable to violent storms and floods as human emissions of heat-trapping gases cause the Indian Ocean to warm.

They expect the trend to worsen dramatically in coming decades.

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