As most parts of the country have been experiencing heavy rains, the province of Gauteng has not been spared with some areas been flooded. Most areas affected are City of Joburg and Ekurhuleni metros. Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) together with Emergency Management Services (EMS) in municipalities are working around the clock to respond and offer aid in affected areas.
PDMC head Mr Elias Sithole said that since the province has been experiencing continuous rainfall from 3 March 2014, all Municipal Disaster Management Centre’s are on high alert to assist and deal with any incidents within the province. He said that some of the aid provided included temporary accommodation for displaced families, food parcels and blankets. “About 70 shacks in Vusimuzi informal settlements near Tembisa, Ekurhuleni were flooded and about 25 displaced families were moved to the community hall,” Sithole said.
Sithole added that together with the Municipal Disaster Management Centre (MDMC) in Ekurhuleni, they also cleared flooded roads and school yards in the municipality. “The MDMC in the area worked tirelessly in clearing the flooded roads and school yards. Blocked storm-water drainages were unblocked and the dammed water was able to flow, relieving the flooded roads,” he said.
Furthermore, Sithole said that in the City of Joburg, about 90 shacks in Kliptown were flooded. “About 200 community members had to be accommodated in the community hall and the PDMC provided blankets to the affected Kliptown community members,” he mentioned.
Human Settlements, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Ntombi Mekgwe applauded the efforts made by the PDMC and MDMCs in aiding the destitute communities of the province. “The work that is being done by these unselfish men and women is commendable. Unfortunately floods are natural disasters and no human being can do a thing to prevent them. The best all of us can do is to work together to offer aid to those in need in times like these”, MEC said.
MEC Mekgwe said her department through the PDMC has embarked on various programmes to help reduce the risk of disasters and “I hope everyone is taking the heed to the education by the Centre to stay clear of disaster-prone areas and reduce the damages, accidents and deaths that may be caused by disasters.”
PDMC’s Sithole highlighted that all Municipal Disaster Management Centre’s are on high alert as the South African Weather Services predicted that the rain will continue over the weekend.
SOURCE: South African Official News