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Time to rebuild KZN lives and livelihoods

Michael Govindasamy, 56, and his daughter Silicia Govindasamy, 24, examin the destruction caused by a mudslide on Tuesday night that struck his house in Springfield, Durban.
Michael Govindasamy, 56, and his daughter Silicia Govindasamy, 24, examin the destruction caused by a mudslide on Tuesday night that struck his house in Springfield, Durban.
Image: Giordano Stolley

No place is immune from natural disasters – from heatwaves, drought to the catastrophic floods that dismembered KwaZulu-Natal. The perception of natural hazards as catastrophes is specific to humanity.

The country needs to stop the carnage. Survivors are haunted by the images of tangled corpses and monumental destruction of epic proportions.

Hundreds of lives were lost and scores are unaccounted for. It is a crucial reminder of our obligations in the care of our environment. For when nature is disturbed, it strikes back in fury and spares no-one.

An event of this nature will probably occur again unless we become more resilient to increasingly violent weather. The apocalyptic scenes that we graphically witnessed are being repeated in many other countries as climate change and global warming alter the course of human history.

Flooding is arguably a weather-related hazard that is most widespread around the globe. It can occur virtually anywhere. People who have not experienced a flood may have little or no appreciation for the dangers of moving water.

The energy of moving waters goes up as the square of its speed. When the speed doubles, the energy associated with it increases by a factor of four. This is the enormous energy that was unleashed on KwaZulu-Natal, reducing many parts of the province to rubble and enormous debris, which defaced and mutilated the landscape over a vast area.

The mountains of destruction is testimony to the destructive power of immense volumes of water that overwhelmed KZN. This whole experience is devastating. SA has not forgotten you.

The devastation caused will take years to repair. In the aftermath of this life-altering catastrophe, we as a nation must work together to rebuild not only the lives and livelihoods, but also people’s aspirations for a better future amid such desolation.

Farouk Araie, Actonville, Benoni

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