Burst water pipe floods Imbali home

2015-06-25 09:36
Nompilo Dladla walking out of her flooded home in Imbali.

Nompilo Dladla walking out of her flooded home in Imbali. (Supplied)

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A FAMILY in Imbali are counting the costs after a municipal water pipe burst, flooding their home and causing major structural damage yesterday.

They lost almost every piece of furniture they own and their home is likely to be demolished because of the extensive structural damage allegedly caused by water bursting through the floor in their lounge.

This was the third time the house has been flooded in the past two years. At around Easter time, the same pipe burst outside their front door.

The family said before then they were not aware there was a pipe running underneath their home.

Previously, a different pipe running through the yard burst, flooding their home and two others in the area.

By mid-morning yesterday, workers from Msunduzi Municipality were at the house digging.

Ward councillor Garnet Mlete allegedly visited the house.

The latest damage was extensive. The water ripped through the tiles on the floor, cracking every wall of the house.

“We were woken up by cracking noises coming from the house. We thought something was crawling on the roof and went to check. The water just burst through the floor of the living room,” said a family member, Nompumelelo Dladla.

“We could not get any furniture out because the tiles were pushed up by water, blocking the door. We had to break down the door to let the water — that was already half way up against the wall — out,” she said.

“We could not take the sofas in the lounge out because they were keeping the tiles in place and holding the water down.

“We nearly drowned. Tonight we have nowhere to sleep because the door is broken and the walls have cracked. This house might collapse on us while we are sleeping.”

Dladla said the damage could have been avoided if Msunduzi Municipality had acted promptly and diverted the pipe when they became aware it was underneath their house.

“When the pipe burst around Easter, they dug it up to fix it. They even contemplated digging inside the house to find its connection, which was right in front of the front door.

“We told them to divert the pipe to avoid any disaster but they did not.

“A few weeks ago another house in the area was flooded. We cannot even build on this land because of the pipes running here,” she said.

A neighbour also affected by the water damage yesterday said although her furniture was damaged, she managed to rescue most of it.

“This is the second time this has happened,” she said.

Acting municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said they had been made aware of the situation. She said the disaster management and Department of Human Settlements were attending to the family.

It was not clear how the house was built on top of the water pipe, she said.

“Those houses were inherited from the previous government.”

Dladla later told The Witness that they were only offered a tent that she, her mother, sisters and brother would share

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water

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