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The City of Johannesburg’s Disaster Management Centre is embarking on a flood and thunderstorm awareness campaign at various hotspots from September until December 2020.

The centre’s Communication and Stakeholder Relations Manager, Niel Rooi, says the locations are based on their historic annual incident assessment data, which identifies human-induced flooding and historic areas that are prone to flooding during rainy seasons. 

“Flood and thunderstorm awareness and its reduction and mitigation measures are informed by flooding occurrences during the previous two rainy seasons and as identified by annual regional risk reduction assessments,” Rooi explains. 

During rainy seasons, most residents in informal settlements and some formalised housing areas experience water pooling due to blockage of drainage pipes and water downflow paths. Rooi says residents will be given safety tips on how to react to different flood and thunderstorm cautions, alerts, and warnings.

To comply with Covid-19 regulations, where there are large gatherings, the awareness team will communicate by means of loud-hailing or mobile PA system. Rooi adds that the centre has a close working relationship with the Johannesburg Roads Agency, the City’s entity responsible for rehabilitation and maintenance of the roads and stormwater infrastructure, to work together on areas of mutual interest during the 2020 flood and thunderstorm campaign.

Some of the areas the team will visit include Diepsloot, Cosmo City, Kliptown, Klipspruit, Joubert Park, Denver and Setjwetla informal settlements.

Rooi has asked residents in the spirit of KleenaJoburg to clean in and around water inflow and downflow paths in their immediate vicinity. A request has also been made to residents to open drainage holes in boundary walls to prevent water-pooling and flooding in their yards.

For all disaster, fire, traffic and rescue related emergencies, residents can call the City’s 24-hour Emergency Centre on 011 375 5911.

Written by Takalani Sioga​