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Biggest flooding events have occurred mostly in newly occupied areas <p>​This is in line with the City’s warnings and risk analyses that were made following the large-scale organised unlawful occupations that occurred since the Covid-19 lockdown started in March 2020. </p><p>The City has done more than 160 assessments of informal settlement flooding incidents over the last few days both for new and existing settlements created on low-lying terrain. </p><p>‘Many of the older, existing areas that were deemed high risk prior to the start of the winter rainfall, where mitigation measures could be implemented, have been spared from the worst of the flooding. </p><p>‘About 70% of all new unlawfully occupied areas though cannot be serviced, and feasible flood mitigation is not possible due to the low-lying terrain, including floodplains, wetlands and waterlogged areas. In addition, some of the land that has been occupied is situated in dams or is privately owned. Many of the flooding hotspots are in the recently occupied areas such as in Mfuleni, Kraaifontein, Dunoon and Khayelitsha. The spike in unlawful occupations since the start of the March 2020 Covid-19 lockdown is causing severe challenges on the ground, as we can see from the high level of flooding incidents and where they have occurred. Those who have for political or economic reasons (such as the ‘shack-farming’ syndicates) enabled and actively driven the large, organised unlawful occupations, are now nowhere to be found to take responsibility for their actions. </p><p>‘The City has consistently advised residents of the health and safety risks associated with the unlawful occupation of unsuitable low-lying, flood prone and waterlogged land. There are simply no feasible engineering solutions for some of the areas. The City will continue to assist where it is possible to do so,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi. </p><p>Of the longer existing settlements, the great majority are also situated in low-lying, waterlogged and flood-prone areas and many are situated on privately-owned land which makes City flooding interventions a challenge or not feasible. </p><p>‘Prior to the winter rains, the City implemented flood-mitigation measures such as digging trenches, delivering milling material to raise the ground level and providing plastic sheeting and sandbags where possible. The City continues to work on obtaining soft relief from relief organisations and the South African Social Security Agency. </p><p>‘A number of City departments, including Informal Settlements Management, Roads and Stormwater and Disaster Risk Management, continue to 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 and occurrences, while giving advice to residents on how to reduce risks,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith. </p><p>Help to reduce flood risk:<br>• Clear out drainage systems<br>• Raise the floor level of a structure so that it is higher than the natural ground level<br>• Make sandbags <br>• Dig trenches around the house to divert water away from the house <br>• Report blocked drains, intakes and illegal dumping – illegal dumping in the stormwater canals and sewers make flooding worse <br>• Waterproof roofs, clear gutters and remove dead tree branches</p><p>How to make a sandbag:  <br>• Cut off the arms of a long-sleeved top and tie the bottom end to close it<br>• Fill up with sand. If you don’t have enough sand, use a mixture of sand and soil<br>• Close the top end and place the sandbag outside and inside the door or doorway<br>• 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</p><p>The risk of fires during winter especially is also huge. Never leave an open flame unattended. </p><p>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.</p>2021-07-01T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#a40ad539-1abd-4549-af11-63cf388da83c;L0|#0a40ad539-1abd-4549-af11-63cf388da83c|flooding;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#a83e4cc6-6869-4ccb-a6ef-366f36e76fb8;L0|#0a83e4cc6-6869-4ccb-a6ef-366f36e76fb8|Informal settlement10

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