Coast KZN

20 Feb 2018

Heavy rains wreak havoc across Zululand

Tamlyn Jolly (Zululand Observer) Picture: The lower level of the cattery was flooded, but all cats are warm and dry in the upper level

Flooding occurred across much of Zululand

Empangeni SPCA is among those counting the cost of damages after Monday’s heavy weather put their offices 10cm under water, flooded their food and utility rooms, and also the cattery.

‘Thankfully the food in our store room is raised on palletts so at least the food did not get wet, but dampness is a challenge,’ said the SPCA’s Debbie Cross.

‘Drainage on our property is a huge problem and, while we have dug trenches and done all we can do ourselves, we need help with finding a suitable solution.’

Empangeni SPCA’s premises is not municipal land and a lack of manpower is the cause of the NPO being unable to carry out infrastructure improvements to prevent flooding.

‘We can see what needs to be done, we just need manpower to get it done.’

Cross said the trenches she dug overflowed in no time during the rains, which measured more than 100ml in parts of Zululand.

None of the animals in the SPCA’s care were affected by the flooding and Cross said they were all warm and dry.

‘Our cattery is double-storey so all the cats are warm and dry on the upper level, while our dog kennels were not affected.

‘The roof on our puppy run needs added structural support to ensure it does not collapse during the next heavy rains we get.’

Meanwhile, further north in Jozini, six families were displaced when their houses’ roofs were damaged during Friday’s heavy weather, which was limited to the northern districts of Zululand and uMkhanyakude.

One classroom roof was damaged at Makhonyeni Primary School in Makhonyeni, while four bridges in the same ward were completely destroyed.

uMkhanyakude District Municipality said emergency relief in the form of food parcels and emergency shelter was required to assist affected families.

Relief material issued by Jozini Municipality included blankets and a tent.

Published by uMkhanyakude District Municipality’s Disaster Management Team, an interim incident report concluded that integrated emergency relief and sustainable interventions are urgently required.

The report stated that affected households are vulnerable from a socio-economic perspective and that ‘serious RDP housing projects are required’.