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eThekwini rocked by yet another stint of disruptive weather

todayJune 29, 2023 70

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Aerial image of affected homes

The lives of hundreds of people in the coastal City of Durban have been flipped upside down yet again, following the torrential rains, which have left a trail of destruction.

This week’s disastrous rains, come just over a year, as the province is still recovering from the 2022 heavy floods.

More than 450 lost their lives, hundreds of people were left homeless, and over R50 billion in damages was incurred in that natural disaster.

The recent rains have claimed four lives, while one person remains missing.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, says search and rescue efforts remain underway while the assessments to determine the extent of the damage continue.

She says their priority now is to provide shelter to the affected residents.

The most affected areas in the city include Phoenix, Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu.

KZN EMS spokesperson, Robert McKenzie, says they responded to call of several informal dwellings were washed away on Tuesday.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) says the provincial government is working with the eThekwini metro to provide immediate relief to affected families.

COGTA has warned communities residing in the South Coast of heavy rains that may result in flooding following a weather update from the South African Weather Service.

eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Lindiwe Khuzwayo, says affected people have been moved to halls.

While it remains unclear how much money the recovery efforts will cost, the Minister of Human Settlement, Mmamabolo Kubayi, says this will only be revealed once her department has concluded its assessment.

Kubayi, along with Provincial Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube and eThekwini Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, visited the community of Inanda on Wednesday to assess damage from Tuesday’s storm.

Dube-Ncube says once the assessments have been concluded, they will look into the provision of building vouchers to assist families to rebuild their homes.

Greenpeace Africa has called for urgent climate action as extreme weather conditions continue to unfold in the country.

Climate and Energy Campaigner, Thandile Chinyavanhu, says the organisation is standing with the people of KwaZulu-Natal following raging storms.

“The science is clear: we are in a climate emergency. There is nothing natural about the destruction unfolding in KwaZulu-Natal. Residents have barely rebuilt what was lost in last year’s storms, and residents in Inanda and Phoenix are watching their homes torn apart while politicians still debate whether we need fossil fuels in our future.”

Chinyavanhu adds: “Once again Greenpeace Africa calls upon President Ramaphosa to take urgent climate action. Extreme weather events will only become more intense and its consequences for communities more severe. Should our government neglect the severity of this situation, they will essentially be deeming KwaZulu-Natal a sacrifice zone, and its people collateral damage.”

 

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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