Rainfall is welcome in many areas but not for the business owners in Alfred Street. A heavy downpour means flooded pavements and gutters because the new storm water drains are blocked. The road has been rehabilitated recently but whenever there is medium or heavy rainfall, the business owners have to close their shops to embark on a cleanup task.
The rehabilitation of Alfred Street has progressed smoothly but a burst water pipe has resulted into unnecessary delays. According to Umtshezi’s Acting Municipal Manager Elphas Dladla, a pipe located under the road base has been leaking for years. There are old water pipes with low carrying capacity that need to be replaced with pipes that cater to large volumes of water. Another challenge faced by the road rehabilitation project is the inclement weather that they experienced.
Roads users patiently waited for the completion of the rehabilitation project on Alfred Street. The inconvenience was minor because the contractors made the effort to limit the burden on motorists. People understood that once the project is finished, it will be a big relief to motorists, pedestrians and business owners. Commuters have avoided the street and took other alternative routes into and out of CBD. Road users were happy to drive on the improved road surface when the project reached its completion stage.
However, even after Alfred Street has been rehabilitated, business owners continue to complain about flooding. They claim that gutters and drains were still blocked even if the road rehabilitation project has been completed.
Heavy rains can cause flash flooding in urban areas. Sometimes, there is lack of drainage or the draining canals do not have the necessary capacity to drain away the large amounts of rainwater. Flooded streets can be very frustrating because children cannot go to school, people cannot report to work and businesses have to close.
Blocked drains can be a serious issue but there is an effective and fast drain clearance solution through the use of proper equipment. While cleaning drains can be a messy job, disturbances are minimized. Staff are fully trained and experienced to solve the drainage problems and maintain the good condition of the drains for the future.