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The past few days has been absolutely devastating for the people of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on South Africa’s East Coast. Non-stop rains have caused massive flooding and damage to infrastructure. At the time I write this, 59 souls have been declared deceased from the floods. Last night, our government met to declare KZN a ‘Disaster Area’.
It has truly been one disaster after the other in this area that is home to the largest number of the Indian diaspora outside of the Indian continent, along with our most impoverished communities living in vulnerable areas.
Eight months after the devastating political riots and looting incidents that caused a ZAR50 billion damage to the economy of the city, they are now faced with more damage to infrastructure. My pensioner family have had no power since Monday night. On Wednesday morning the water supply has cut off to their home. The flooding has caused damage and destruction that will take much time to repair.
Displaced people are nearing the thousands. Community centres have opened to house people who have been left homeless.
A family swept away in flood: three children with their grandmother found deceased
Buildings and cars caved in and requiring emergency excavation to rescue those trapped
Inaccessible national roads
Caved roads cutting access off for communities
The discussions around why it has reached this level of destruction centre around the lack of infrastructure upgrade since the days of apartheid, pollution to drainage systems which block the system from fully functioning, climate change which has impacted in severe flooding on the east coast of South Africa and excessive drought conditions on the west coast of the country, to name a few.
The cost of the damage is still to be quantified. There are many local organisations doing collections for the communities. Here are two drives that you can take part in should you want to be involved in community upliftment.
And lastly, we can keep those people of Durban and the rest of KZN in our prayers as they have had quite a lot to deal with in recent times.
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