Apathy by Napier residents after the floods – will it continue?

van der Byl Street (Image: W vd Westhuizen)

van der Byl Street (Image: W vd Westhuizen)

The Napier Residents Association (NRA) sent out a message requesting Napier residents to send information and photos via email about their experiences / damage that they suffered during the recent storms and floods. The notice was sent out to the 50 subscribers to the Napier Incident Alert and the Napier Helping Hands WhatsApp Groups, together with the request to pass on the information to anyone they knew who was also affected.

So far – the NRA has had one, yes 1 …. ‘uno’ … response to their request of 22nd January. So were all the accounts of the people we’d heard who had been effected merely our imagination?

Or is it just the usual “Napier-apathy” kicking in now that the rain has gone and the carpets are dry? … is it just too much bother to actually sit down and write about the experiences or send a few snaps or lift a telephone to tell what has happened?

The reason for the request was so that the NRA could draw up a list that for the Municipality so that it would speed up the process of getting things done with regard to repairs of roads and drains that the rains had caused. The Municipality, like all government departments, has to be pushed, cajoled and “reminded” of things – it seems that they are incapable of acting on their own initiative.

At a meeting on Monday 20th January, convened by the Ward Counsellor Mr Warnick October, CAM officials asked the NRA to draw up a list that they could then identify the most urgent areas to attend to to concentrate on repairing and putting in place drains etc that would lessen the impact of similar rainfall events. Reading between the lines, it is when they get that list that things will start to “get repaired” … in the meantime, they have sent in the grader, which is once again scraping more topsoil away and creating pretty ridges on the sides of the roads so that the water, when it comes again, will be concentrated in the middle of the roads and not be allowed to run off the sides into drainage channels – just like before.

Debris at the bridge (Image: Patrick Seeton)

Debris at the bridge (Image: Patrick Seeton)

And when winter comes around, and the Municipality has done very little – because they weren’t informed – it all happens again.

Oh yes ….winter is 4 months away!

Knowing how slowly Municipal wheels turn, one wonders how much will actually be done by April when the storms start lashing the area and by then the cry from 1 Dirkie Uys Street will be, as it has been for years, “we must wait until summer!”

Napier now has the opportunity to respond to the Municipal invitation for action – is the apathy going to continue?

PLEASE send your information by email to: napier.residents@gmail.com and if you don’t have email facilities, contact Lindy at the NRA on 028 423 3834 & 084 44 2 2010 and someone from the NRA will assist you in documenting your experiences.

PLEASE pass this information on to anyone who you know who was affected by the storms and may not have seen this – rather tell someone something they have already heard about, than not say anything and they miss the opportunity.

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4 comments on “Apathy by Napier residents after the floods – will it continue?

  1. Rob, how many of the peopel really affected are memebrs of the WhapsApp group? Could the NRA not have used the Natter’s mailing group and sent out a similar request?

    • Thanks for the comment Cathy, the WhatsApp group has 50 members and the request was sent out as one of the databases we used ALSO with the clear request to pass on the message to other residents. Napier Natter is published sporadically and Mark has also indicated that they no longer wish to continue with it. The WhatsApp group is instantaneous too … and speed of getting input was paramount to keep CAM on their toes and not let the issue get any older than it is. The bottom line is that many of those on the WhatsApp group haven’t responded even though we know many of them have been affected (CAM want’s THEIR story so we don’t want to document experiences from a second-hand or hearsay perspective) … I wonder how many of the people on the Natter’s database would have bucked the trend of apathy and responded. This blogpost has been spread far and wide – let’s see what the response is, or else CAM will be getting a very short list

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