Couple at flooding’s mercy

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Moses Molantoa outside in the flooded yard in the Khayelitsha settlement in ward 17, Bloemfontein.  Photo: Teboho Setena
Moses Molantoa outside in the flooded yard in the Khayelitsha settlement in ward 17, Bloemfontein. Photo: Teboho Setena

A couple who lives on a site prone to flooding with every rainstorm, has had their lives complicated further with the news of their six-month-old baby’s lung infection.

According to Moses Molantoa and his partner, Nothazanele Fanteso, they were informed of the child’s ill health at the National Hospital in Bloemfontein. The baby is currently on treatment.

They received the worrying news on the eve of Thursday, 25 March, when bad weather and flash floods hit Bloemfontein.

With the flooding at its worst, the level of the rain­water in their shack dwelling was knee-high. Their belongings, including food and clothing, were floating around in the shelter.

The couple has been allocated a site in a low-lying area of ward 17 in Bloemfontein. According to residents whose dwellings are situated on the edge of the spruit, they experience flooding often whenever it rains heavily.

According to Molantoa, life has become a nightmare for them and their other three young children.

“Heavy rainfall results in flooding around this area and we never escape having water going into our shelter,” he says.

“We now fear infection with other viruses, because the area is also prone to the stagnation of raw sewage water. There is a constant unpleasant smell of sewage and every honest person allocated a site can attest to that bad smell.”

The recent flooding exposed many other people in low-lying areas, mostly in informal settlements in Bloemfontein, to distressing living conditions.

Those who were affected were relocated to safety.

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