Durban — A year after devastating floods hit the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, eThekwini Municipality aims to improve water sanitation in flood conditions.
This is after the heavy flooding in April 2022 left afloat plastic and refuse, which landed up in most rivers and streams, threatening the ecosystems and marine life.
eThekwini Metro Head of International Relations Eric Apelgren said the City’s plans are brewing to stimulate partnerships with countries which can transmit knowledge of water sanitation in flood conditions.
“We took a huge knock. Our infrastructure, in particular, had sewage and sanitation compromised, and those are being repaired. I think we need to do more, and what we are doing with our international partners, in particular, most of the G-20 countries, is looking at best practices and learning from other countries on how to put in place mitigation strategies and how do you deal with the current crisis,” said Apelgren.
He said the City would be sending teams to Germany to look at how they have dealt with water and sanitation problems in flood conditions.
Meanwhile, a recent research conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand has shown that the disastrous flood which hit Durban in April 2022 was the most catastrophic natural disaster yet recorded in KZN in collective terms of lives lost, homes and infrastructure damaged or destroyed and economic impact.
The study found that while the floods were indeed the most catastrophic in terms of lives lost, infrastructure damage, and economic loss, the flood was not actually the biggest in terms of the area affected, homes destroyed, or the amount of rainfall that fell collectively over a few days.
According to lead author Stefan Grab from Wits University, the aim of the study was to place the floods into perspective and see if this and other statements related to the disaster were factually correct by building a historic geographic account of past floods and associated extreme rainfall events for the province of KZN and particularly the greater Durban region.
Grab said that a similar catastrophic flooding event in Durban, 1856, also in April, produced a greater quantity of rainfall over a three-day period than last year’s floods.
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