A monster deluge left a trail of destruction in Francistown following torrential monsoon rains last week. Francistown residents spent Friday morning battling the raging water; House were swamped, gardens and household property destroyed, pets chocked to death and traffic along the AI highway stalled into a gridlock, as the Tati River, which passes through the city spilled over. Hardest hit areas included Somerset East, Block 1 and Donga Location.
Some roads had to be temporarily closed for floods to calm down. Speaking to the Sunday Standard, a resident of Somerset East, Gaolathe Sidenge whose home is a stone throw away from the banks of Tati River said that the overflowing river led to floods destroying some of his property. “The water swamped one of my houses and destroyed my property. We only thank God that no one was injured,” he said. Sidenge said that he had to spend a sleepless night on Friday to push away the raging flood of water from his yard with the help of his neighbors. “I do not know how to thank my neighbors because they came to my rescue.
We had to dig a trench in my home to allow the water to flow back into the river,” he said. Another resident of Block one location, Keaboka Mokgatla also expressed shock at the floods saying that it is the first time he witnessed such floods. “When I woke up in the morning I found water everywhere in the yard. My house has developed a crack and I believe it was caused by the floods.
In fact one of my puppies is dead and my garden is destroyed,” he said. Mbatshi Joel a taxi operator who stays in Somerset West location expressed shock in an interview with the Sunday Standard at the floods saying it was the first time he sees Tati River flowing to the brim. “The floods were horrible because they caused traffic jams across the roads, in particular the A1 road.
To some of us who ply their trade on the taxi business, it means a loss because time is money,” he said Reached for comment, the Senior Public Relations Officer at Francistown City Council (FCC), Joseph Wasubera confirmed that they are aware of the adversities caused by the floods and they have managed to contain the situation. “As we are speaking, the city councilors, the district commissioner and other relevant stake-holders have attended to the victims and they will be duly assisted,” he said He however could not produce the number of people who were affected by the floods saying that they are still doing their assessment. He also said that no deaths or injuries were reported.
“We are working around the clock with relevant stake-holders to make sure that those affected by the flood get the assistance they deserve,” he said in conclusion. Several efforts to reach the Francistown Mayor James Kgalajwe proved futile as his mobile phone rang unanswered on Friday.