Some residents of Dithabaneng at Ga-Mphahlele, outside Lebowakgomo in Limpopo, say that their yards get flooded when it rains. They say the problem started when Lepelle-Nkumpi municipality re-gravelled their streets, apparently without constructing a stormwater drainage system.
They say streets also fill up with water, making it difficult for them to access other places.
The residents say they are unable to walk out of their yards, during the rainy seasons as they are flooded with water. They say they have been facing this problem for a few years now since the municipality tried to fix their roads.
They are calling on government to install facilities, that could channel the water out of their homes. Some residents Mineth Ntsoane and Ramatsobane Mangoale say this was not happening before the municipality re-gravelled their streets.
“Unlike before, these houses that you see here get flooded. We are afraid for our lives because this water is harbouring mosquitoes. The cars are also unable to move around when it’s raining. This flooding water is badly affecting us when it’s raining. There are no stormwater drainage systems here and this water comes to our yard. My crops are dead due to the flooding.”
Mashikara Leshilo and Eunice Mabula say the elderly people are highly affected as their yards are filled with water. They fear that the puddles can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
“We are requesting help from our local municipality to assist us because there’s a lot of mosquitoes around here, which could cause malaria to us and our children. We need rain, unfortunately, it’s affecting our roads. We can’t even take our kids to school or go to the shops when it’s raining.”
Lepelle-Nkumpi local municipality spokesperson, Mokgadi Maubane says the area is located in a wetland.
“Dithabaneng village internal roads have characteristics of a wetland and a muddy terrain. Therefore, whenever it rains as it did recently, it results in flooding especially in the low-lying and the flat parts. So as an interim measure the municipality had the road re-gravelled to deal with the clay situation and in terms of addressing the matter, two drifts will be installed to channel the water to the nearest stream. The solution in this regard it’s through a short to long-term approach wherein the ultimate plan is to have a stormwater control system tarring up the roads. And budgeting in line with these plans will therefore be prioritised in the future.”
The residents of Dithabaneng want the local municipality to construct the drainage system.