South Africa: Flooding as COP17 kicks off

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 28 Nov 2011
Title: Flooding as COP17 kicks off

Pretoria - As COP17 kicked off on Monday in Durban, several people were reported dead following flooding over the weekend.

The eThekwini Municipality said 10 fatalities were reported, with five of the cases having been confirmed following flooding that resulted in damage to property and infrastructure in Umlazi on Sunday.

The worst-hit area is the central region, with 19 reports of flooding affecting shacks at Quarry road and Puntan's Hill.

Mayor James Nxumalo visited the affected families where he conveyed condolences, adding that the municipality will join hands with the Departments of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Human Settlements and Public Works to help them.

He urged residents to contact their local councillor for help in accessing help.

"The municipality is aware of all affected areas and emergency personnel are fully mobilised to respond to all reported incidents," said municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng.

Several traffic lights have been affected, with motorists being called on to treat intersections as four-way stops. Bathing at Blue Lagoon to Battery Beach has been restricted until further notice as beach clean-up has started.

Some beach related activities of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) have been affected. They have been delayed by a day.

"The proceedings of the COP17 ... have not been affected, although last night the city had assisted in addressing some challenges due to drainage problems resulting from the high levels of precipitation. The venue is functioning normally today," said Mofokeng.

The conference is expected to be a major test for the world politicians' willingness to compromise in dealing with the imminent catastrophic impacts of global warming. COP17 has to find a way of implementing most of the major decisions that were taken during COP16 in Mexico last year.

Published on: 2011-11-28

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