Heavy rains bring misery

Community leaders like Ntombomzi Mafaya and Lithemba Jalisa will be kept busy this winter with more heavy rains predicted.

Heavy rains and strong winds which lashed the city last week had devastating effects for residents of the informal settlements.

In Khayelitsha and other areas, shacks were flooded or destroyed by gale force winds, forcing a number of residents to abandon their homes.

Particularly hard hit were the poor people of Qanduqandu, Taiwan, Zwezwe, Marikana and TR section in Site B.

When Vukani visited some of the affected areas, residents were running around trying to save their belongings but the rain was coming down hard. Some were trying to create trenches to redirect the flooding water away from their shacks.

In Qanduqandu near Town Two, there were scenes of devastation as residents were forced to abandon their flooded shacks – and their belongings inside them.

The two-day downpour last Wednesday and Thursday left roads and footpaths water-logged.

Community leaders Ntombomzi Mafaya, Lithemba Jalisa and Lwazi Mzukwa did their best to help where they could.

Ms Mafaya said she was concerned that many peopled had erected their shacks in low-lying areas vulnerable to flooding.

“People are in danger of losing most of their belongings here. As you have seen, most are in low-lying areas. We are trying to get trucks that can bring sand or gravel so we can try to uplift some of the shacks,” she said.

Ms Jalisa urged residents to carefully consider where they built their shacks.

“We hope that the City can come in and help. People’s lives are in danger here,” she said.

Many residents said they were relieved to have been able to save important belongings like identification documents and certificates. Some, however, said their IDs and other documents had been destroyed along with their furniture.

“We are devastated and don’t know what to do. Every year we have to face this bad weather.

“All we need is houses to be
out of this misery,” said Nosisana Metu.