Trench solution to flooded area

2017-06-22 06:01

An initiative by Langa residents to prevent flooding by digging furrows has received recognition from the City such that it is now being rolled out to other areas in the region.

Alderman J.P Smith, the Mayoral Committee Executive Management team for special events committee, was so impressed to see a water trench which was dug by 20 members of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) at BM Section in Khayelitsha on Tuesday.

Smith said floods in Icola Street were making life difficult for the residents.

The trenches were the ideas of residents of Zone 30 in Langa, and Smith sold it as a pilot project in other areas.

“If it works, it will become standard for our winter readiness planning and be an annual intervention to bring relief to flooded areas. The department of transport will proceed by gradually formalising the storm water systems in informal settlements as they have been doing. The teams are learning on the job about gradient levels of such channels in order for them to work and took their own initiative to fill in the potholes in the informal road with the soil they had dug out of the channel. We are speaking to Road Department about adding cement for u-channels to allow these interventions to last longer.

Smith was joined by the Disaster Management Flooding Relief team.

He also said the reason they have created the project is to find more lasting solutions.

“Pumping the water out is OK until the next rains, but making a water channel achieves more lasting relief from the problem until after winter. We are trying to find a formal solution for it so that soil will not erode back to the trenches. It is a simple solution,” he added.

Enoch Kopele, area manager and chairperson for the winter readiness task team, said he was optimistic that the plan will work.

“There were floods ... Residents could not have access to toilets in the street.

I see it as something fruitful for the community. It is going to benefit residents,” Kopele said.

Khanyiso Mkosi, 36, one of the EPWP staff said the project is bringing hope for them for getting employment if it worked.

“This project is helping me, because I am unemployed. It is a life changing opportunity, because now I am able to put something on the table.

The residents are also happy to see us working on their area, because their areas are flooded,” Mkosi said.

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