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Fearful Colchester residents brace themselves for more disasterous flooding

BY Athol Trollip MPL, Mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay

With yesterday's rain in Nelson Mandela Bay, more flooding is predicted for Colchester.

 

This is an area which has been blatantly ignored by the municipality despite perennial flooding and the recent efforts of various DA councillors.

 

I visited the community on Tuesday afternoon and was saddened by what I saw and heard. Water has dammed up in various streets and residential properties preventing residents from accessing their homes. Even worse, water often flows into some of these homes, or is soaked up into their walls, destroying personal belongings and forcing residents to evacuate. Many of these affected houses all use drench drains or ventilated pit latrines which pose significant health risks during flooding due to faecal contamination of the surface water. (See pictures here and here)

 

Therefore, the DA will apply to have this area declared a disaster zone to motivate immediate intervention from provincial and national government, and SANRAL.

 

On the 4th August 2015, Cllrs Lawack and Terreblanche visited the area and submitted questions to council the very next day. The municipality responded on the 11th August 2015 claiming that they are unable to act as the area is situated below a flood line. However, in a blatant display of double standards, the very same municipality has approved, and continues to approve, building plans in this area. 

 

Furthermore and in an act of complete disregard for the needs of the people the municipality has refused to pump the water away as it is deemed to be “wasted” expenditure. This is extraordinary considering the huge amount of money that must have been spent on the Mayor’s extravagant 100 days press conference, amongst other numerous municipal events.

 

Direct Quotations From Municipal Response:

“Large portions of Colchester are within the 1:100 year flood line and low lying, with no formal stormwater drainage system.”

“Due to the flat terrain and budget constrains (sic.) is it (sic.) not feasible to pump the water away as it is costly and could be considered as wasted expense.”

 

See full questions and responses here.

 

It is clear that the municipality is simply being selective about the responsibilities it chooses to honour.

 

On the 5th September 2015, after absolutely no action from the municipality, the DA sent internal teams to the area with motorised pumps to try and relocate the water. (See picture here)

 

This is a tragedy that is directly impacting the lives of our residents. It is not fair and cannot be allowed to continue.

 

I am making a public appeal to the municipality to send water tankers to Colchester so that the water can be transported away from our residents' homes and belongings.

 

Going forward, a long-term solution needs to be implemented to ensure fairness and opportunity for all. The municipal and provincial authorities, in collaboration with SANRAL, must immediately begin negotiating and implementing a storm water displacement system. This should be directed through the adjacent property on the Eastern side of the N2 so that the water can be redirected into the Sunday's River.

 

I am determined to continue engaging with the residents of Colchester to ensure that their plight is heard and resolved with immediate effect. 


The DA is set on winning Nelson Mandela Bay in next year’s elections so that the people of this Metro are heard by a caring government that delivers on its promises.  

 October 01, 2015
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