WITHOUT water there can be no life – but when the rain falls in torrents, water can quickly turn into a deadly force of nature.
On Saturday severe thunderstorms left a trail of destruction in the rural Vhembe district of Limpopo.
Many households in Thohoyandou Block G and other areas suffered damage estimated at hundreds of thousands of rands.
Residents blame the contractor who built a road in the area for not making available sufficient drainage, causing floodwater to spill into their yards.
The raging water swept into homes, breaking household goods and depositing tons of mud.
Even walls and heavy steel gates got swept away, resulting in more losses.
Esther Ratombo said her 12-roomed house in Thohoyandou Block G Extension nearly got swept away.
“I was at the nearby Phangami Mall when the rain started at about 5pm.
“I rushed as lighting flashed and a strong wind was blowing.
“When I reached my home I was shocked to find that a river was flowing into my house. We could not get into the house. The water had crushed our heavy steel gate and the walls were simply washed away.
“When the rain subsided the house was under water. All our furniture and other household goods were damaged.
“I estimate that we suffered R400 000 in losses,” she said.
“I still don’t know what to do. I blame the municipality who employed a road contractor who did not do his job properly,” she said.
Resident Elsie Masindi said her household was also hit hard by the rain.
Vhembe district municipality spokesman Matodzi Ralushai said disaster teams were sent to assess the extent of the damage and see how affected residents could be helped.