Localized flooding in Sweet Home Farm

Sweet Home Farm is situated on a low-lying floodplain in the Cape Flats, with a high underground water table that makes the settlement liable to flooding from precipitation events as well as from underground water flows. Various socio-economic factors further compound the issue of the township’s geographical positioning, which make flooding events particularly common and destructive in the township. For example, poorly constructed and managed drainage systems are almost always blocked, which ensures that there are constant streams of stinking, rubbish-filled water flowing through Sweet Home Farm. These streams and pools dramatically turn into streams that fill the streets of the township following precipitation events, as population density ensures that the soil is so firmly packed that it is ill-equipped to absorb water. During flooding events residents lack access to toilets and rubbish bins, which fosters an ideal environment for the spread of pathogens to which the elderly and children are particularly vulnerable. Sweet Home Farm residents have reported feeling disillusioned with supposedly unhelpful municipal attempts at remedying the problem, hence the Water and Fire project aims to engage with the local community to try and mitigate the frequency and impact of flooding events in the township.