Authorities warn of major flooding in the South

Obrein Simasiku

Authorities are cautioning the public of a possible flooding in the South part of the country due to the Orange river that is overflowing downstream. This is exacerbated by high rainfall experienced in South Africa and Lesotho, which prompted the nations to open the sluice of their dams, thus reeling thousands of cubic metres of water.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) has come out alerting the public, most especially those on the Lower Orange River, of possible high river flows and flooding which might cause prolonged inundation in the coming days.

“MAWLR learned that there was high rainfall development in the headwaters of the Vaal and Orange-Senqu River catchments in South Africa and Lesotho. As a result, this triggered major overflows and releases had to be made from Bloemhof, Gariep and Vanderkloof major dams over the past two weeks,” said the ministry’s executive director Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata.

She says the high flows moved down the Lower Orange River, peaking from 2m to 6.26m, with a flow rate of 3100 m 3/s, at Upington as of Saturday.

“The major upstream dams remain above 100%. It is expected that the flows in the Lower Orange River will remain high in the coming weeks with more water on its way, as a result of further releases from the upstream dams,” she added.

She therefore urged communities, water users and irrigation areas of Noordoewer, and settlement in Aussenker;, Mines, road users, as well as those on the the lowest part of the Orange River Oranjemund area to be on high alert for possible high river flows and flooding.

Meanwhile, the Road Authority (RA) has announced temporary closure of DR212 road from Rosh Pinah to Aussenkehr until further notice.

RA said some sections on DR212 are flooded, which is caused by the high water levels in the Orange River due to heavy rain in some parts of South Africa.

“In these circumstances, the RA is kindly requesting all affected travelers to make use of the Keetmanshoop-Aus-Rosh Pinah road instead of DR212, until the water levels have subsided and the road is deemed safe to motorists. Moreover, the RA is also currently monitoring the situation on MR118 (Rosh Pinah – Oranjemund),” it said in a statement. The public is therefore urged to report any potholes and road damages as they exercise vigilance at all time.

By Observer