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Residents expected to evacuate along Orange River – SABC News

ZF Mcgawu District Municipality in the Northern Cape, based in Upington, is preparing for a water spill. Several upstream dams, including the Bloemhof Dam, released water into the Orange River system.

ZF Mcgawu Municipality spokesperson Martha Manyehe says the rise of the Orange River is already a cause for concern in the low-lying areas of Keimos.

“We are currently monitoring the Kai Gharib Municipality closely as we begin to receive reports of the effects of rising water levels in these areas. We are engaged in outreach activities to inform residents living on the banks of the Orange River. Emergency plans address issues of evacuation, rapid response and emergencies should they arise,” Manyehe added.

Video: Evacuees living along the Vaal River in Bloemhof: Sentling Lehihi
Residents living along the Vaal river in Bloemhof evacuated: Sentleeng Lehihi

Business owners with property along the Bloemhof Dam and the Waal River in Bloemhof in the northwest of the country are counting their losses. It comes after many downstream property owners were warned to evacuate the area after both the Bloemhof Dam and the Waal River overflowed.

Eight locks have been opened at the Vaal Dam since last weekend following a huge inflow of water due to the recent prolonged torrential rains.

Currently, the capacity of the Bloemhof dam exceeds 111%. If the current torrential rains continue, it could increase the danger to life and property and prolong the absence of business activity.

Video: Tri Nations Senior Angling Championship to go ahead at Bloemhof Dam despite flooding

While Bloemhof residents staying along the Bloemhof Dam and the banks of the Vaal River struggle to stay safe after flooding in the area, anglers from South Africa, Namibia and Australia continue their tri-nation senior championships at the dam.

Some anglers have expressed concern about trash in the water. South African Freshwater Angling Federation international co-ordinator Annatji Lube says fishing the rising Bloemhof Dam has also been a challenge for them.

“The problems we faced on the first day was that the landlords we were all staying with called us and said we had to evacuate. So we stopped the competition on Tuesday at 12 noon, where we normally finish at 3:00 p.m. We’ve moved the bags three times now, and with all the trash and stuff that gets into the dam, that gets into their lines, it’s very difficult, but they’re fishermen and they face all these problems because they love what they do “, – says Lube.

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