Heavy rains in Jozini affect Makhathini irrigation scheme operations

KwaZulu Natal: Heavy rains in Jozini, North of KwaZulu Natal, have impacted the Makhathini Irrigation Scheme and its surroundings.

Heavy rains in Jozini affect Makhathini irrigation scheme operations
Heavy rains in Jozini affect Makhathini irrigation scheme operations Image credit: KZN facebook Page

KwaZulu Natal: Heavy rains in Jozini, North of KwaZulu Natal, have impacted the Makhathini Irrigation Scheme and its surroundings.

Although the occurrence of floods is not a norm, this disaster is not the first to affect the area as the Jozini climate is a local steppe climate with little rainfall throughout the year. Annual rainfall is approximatelyKwaZulu Natal: Heavy rains in Jozini, North of KwaZulu Natal, have impacted the Makhathini Irrigation Scheme and its surroundings. between 588 and 635mm, and this falls mostly in the summer months.

Advertisement

The last recorded floods of this magnitude were in 2013, with over 150mm of rainfall. The 1984 Domonia floods were the most devastating occurrence in the history of the area. The Makhathini Irrigation Scheme experienced heavy rain on 10 – 12 February 2023. Weather conditions triggered floods in the Jozini area leading to an excess of approximately 100mm of rainfall over a 24-hour period.

These heavy rainfalls led to flooding in most parts of the scheme, namely the farmers’ fields, ADA offices (administration block) and one pump station (P14). It is reported that the extent of the damage is minor at the offices, with only wooden cabinet files and tables being affected. The P14 pump station is the most affected, with the water level reaching some of the equipment, such as electrical panels and motors.

The Projects and Finance Committee (PFC) led by Chairperson Ms Snethemba Cele, alongside the Administration led by the Acting CEO, Mr Siyabonga Mazibuko, visited Jozini to conduct a physical assessment to ascertain the extent of damage and interventions thereof.

“The impact of these heavy rains is impeding operations at the ADA office as the working area is flooded and inhabitable; and posing a challenge to the farmers and the community at large as some roads and bridges are inaccessible” shared Cele.

This urgent in-loco inspection assessed the ADA infrastructure, local community infrastructure, effects of the flooding on the farming projects and possible financial implications. While the PFC was conducting the in-loco inspection, they engaged the Farmer EXCO leadership to inform their perception of the flood damage and measures to address same.

“Recommendations to the ADA Board of Trustees will be tabled on how to address the identified damage with financial implications and timelines. These interventions are further testimony of how the ADA is committed to supporting farming and agriculture in the province,” Mazibuko added.

Advertisement