Residents of Qumrha and Kirkwood in the Eastern Cape are picking up the pieces after widespread heavy rain caused damage in large parts of the Amathole District and the Sundays River Valley Municipalities.
Some of the area experienced localised flooding, hail and strong winds. Despite the rains, the residents in these areas continue to have minimal access to water and experience poor sanitation.
Communities in Qumrha feel helpless as this is not the first heavy rain to wreak havoc in the area. Not only has it damaged homes, but local businesses and places of worship have been hit hard.
Vuyiswa Kwaimaan, a businesswoman in Qumrha, is pleading with the government to assist her.
“I wish the government could assist me. I make a living through this business and now, l am struggling to fix this,” she says.
Another resident who has been affected by the heavy rains, Thumeka Yibaba, says access to water remains a challenge in the area.
“It has been six years since we had running water. I don’t know why we are subjected to this life. It is like they have forgotten about us.”
Spokesperson for the Amathole District Municipality, Sisa Msiwa, says they are assessing the damage.
“Our disaster management are on the ground doing assessments to determine the extent of the damage caused. So, we are waiting for the preliminary reports so that we can see the intervention and in terms of activating JOCs in the affected municipalities,”
Meanwhile, Sundays River Valley Municipality also had its own mopping up to do this morning. This was after the thunderstorm caused localised flooding in Kirkwood yesterday. A vehicle was trapped on a bridge. Shops in the town were also underwater.
Reports on the damage are expected to be available during the week.