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Help reduce flood risk this winter

The City continues to do all it can to assist residents in vulnerable areas to reduce the risk of flooding. More winter rain is expected during August and the City urges residents to play their part by implementing no cost methods to help reduce the impact of flooding in their areas, where possible. Some informal settlements are located on unsuitable land, prone to flooding, such as in dams or retention ponds and waterlogged areas where the water takes a long time to dissipate after rains due to the condition of the soil.

Flood-prone areas include Philippi, Dunoon, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Driftsands and Mfuleni, among others.

The City urges residents who are at risk of experiencing flooding in their areas to implement flood mitigation measures, such as making their own sandbags, digging trenches to lead water away from entrances of dwellings and to use plastic and other waterproofing materials where possible.

‘Our teams have been on the ground to ensure that residents in at risk informal settlements are informed and are aware of the risks, as well as the no cost flood mitigation measures they may employ. Our teams continue to monitor all high-risk regions. Most of the newly unlawfully occupied areas are unfortunately situated on unsuitable, and flood-prone land.

‘It remains a challenge for our teams to assist residents who have settled in a floodplain, dam, road reserve, water retention pond, wetland or other waterlogged areas, as well as on privately owned land. We urge residents to plan ahead of time so that they are as prepared as can be. Residents should consider raising their floor level of their structure so that it is higher than the natural ground level, raising furniture on bricks to clear from the floor to limit water damage, making sand bags and digging trenches around their homes to divert water away,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi.

A number of City departments, including Informal Settlements Management, Roads and Stormwater and Disaster Risk Management, do their utmost to help residents by constructing canals to lead flood water away from affected areas where possible and monitoring high risk priority areas on a daily basis to determine flooding risks, while giving advice to residents on how to reduce risks.

Help to reduce flood risk:

• Clear out drainage systems

• Raise the floor level of a structure so that it is higher than the natural ground level

• Raise furniture on bricks to clear from the floor to limit water damage

• Make sandbags

• Dig trenches around the house to divert water away from the house

• Report blocked drains, intakes and illegal dumping – illegal dumping in the storm water canals and sewers make flooding worse

• Waterproof roofs, clear gutters and remove dead tree branches

How to make a sandbag:

• Cut off the arms of a long-sleeved top and tie the bottom end to close it

• Fill up with sand. If you don’t have enough sand, use a mixture of sand and soil

• Close the top end and place the sandbag outside and inside the door or doorway

• If you do not have a long-sleeved top, you can use old pillow cases or the legs of long pants filled and tied on either of the open ends or black bags

Emergencies can be reported to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialing 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.

Source: City Of Cape Town

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