Communities in the Dawid Kruiper and Kai! Garib municipalities on the banks of the Orange River in the Northern Cape have been affected by flooding.
The municipalities incorporate towns such as Keimoes, Upington and Kenhardt. Several sluice gates at the Vaal Dam were opened as a result of the heavy rains. This has caused water levels to rise in the Orange River, flooding areas along the riverbanks
Aerial view of flood-affected Keimos:
Some residents along the banks of the Orange River have been affected. Bridges and roads have been closed, and residents who have been cut off from their areas have reported on the challenges these closures have caused them.
“It’s very bad for us because we cannot get hold of help even police cannot get hold of if they want to help us it takes long, that is why we are in danger,” says one resident.
Another resident describes the hassle of navigating around the town with the road closures.
“I don’t like at all, its not nice for us here. I have never seen it like this before. I had to go around the mountain to come to town where we always come this way to town, said the resident.”
Other residents have reported that medical service vehicles cannot reach parts of the towns to attend to emergencies, while others report on how the flooding gets bad daily.
The floods in the two municipalities have also severely affected farmers and vineyards on some of the farms along the Orange River have been flooded.
One of the farmers affected, Dirk Malan, says they have not begun counting the cost of the devastation.
“There is problem of water standing in the vineyards. The vineyards have died off because of that, and on the other side the farmers pump water for irrigation to the high level vineyards and they must lift the pumps because [due to] the high levels they can’t pump, and that is another problem in the warm area like the Northern Cape,.”
Communities in and around Keimoes affected by floods: