Residents of the town of Ladysmith, South Africa, were spared flood damage when the Klip river rose to dangerous levels, thanks to flood control by the R220M (US$34.9M) Qedusizi dam.

During heavy rains in January the water level rose to 9.46m.

Cassim Sardiwalla, who is the chairman of the Ladysmith Flood Liaison Committee and also the town’s deputy mayor, said that between 10-15 deaths had been linked directly to floods in the past ten years. According to the dam manager, Jay Thulsie, the dam’s Zulu name — meaning ‘the end of suffering’ — is proving to be just that. ‘If the dam had not been built the town could have been flooded,’ he said.