Durban - A family in Newlands East were still in shock after last week’s inclement weather conditions had their house submerged in water, destroying everything inside.
Kaylene Robinson, who lives on Tiburon Road in Newlands East, was visibly distraught when she shared her story of how the family watched as their house was nearly submerged in water.
“The entire house and vehicles were immersed in water. The water at some point hit the ceiling of the house and we couldn’t do anything except to abandon the house. It was Monday last week, we had to leave and sought refuge at a family member’s house for that night. When we came back the following morning, the house was totally flooded,” said Robinson.
She said the vehicles parked outside the home were also badly damaged, “My husband is a mechanic, our vehicle and peoples’ cars that he was fixing were all damaged. It’s heartbreaking, we don’t even know where to begin in trying to salvage all this. We need any assistance we can get; blankets, furniture, food, paint for the house - everything and anything would be appreciated,” said Robinson.
She said what the residents in Newlands East need was for drainage systems to be properly managed, so it would reduce the damage when such acts of nature occurred, “It’s been such a traumatic experience. It’s as if all the water came and collected at our house; I don’t think this would have happened if we had proper drainage systems,” she said.
The Ward 11 councillor, Graeme Clarivette, acknowledged there were drainage system issues in that area.
“There’s been a flood before but it wasn’t this bad; now with all the new developments in the area, the drainage systems weren’t upgraded. I have forwarded the matter to the municipality, they definitely know about it, I just need to follow up and see how far the issue has gone. We tried going back to the site of the drainage system but you can’t access it because there’s still mud all over from the floods,” said Clarivette.
Msawakhe Mayisela, eThekwini Municipality spokesperson, said the damage caused by the floods were clear.
“Even if you had the best drainage systems, the floods were disastrous to all and that is also projected through the billions of rands that must be spent in repairing damage caused by floods in the province,” said Mayisela.
He advised that residents who had lodged a complaint, enquire and produce their reference number to the municipality.
“I can be able to follow up that matter. We have so far doubled our efforts on the ground in trying to fix damage in eThekwini,” said Mayisela.
He added that another crucial issue was the problem of littering which also contributed to drains being blocked.
“The government alone cannot solve everything, the community must also play their part. We saw how much garbage the beach collected after the floods - where does it come from? It washed away from the communities and ended up on our beaches. We must refrain from always pointing a finger at the government but instead work together. Litter badly affects the environment, which eventually pollutes rivers, soil and the aquatic environment,“ concluded Mayisela.