Government to relocate wetlands dwellers- Kasukuwere

Zim heavy rains, flooding

Lovemore Lubinda

Local Government, National Housing and Public Works minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the government is going to relocate people who have built on wetlands.

Kasukuwere said in the Zimbabwean Parliament this week that the government is working hand in hand with the affected to see to it that the situation does not happen again.

Answering a question prodded by Norton Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa on what measures his ministry is going to take on those who have built in wetlands with blessings from the ministry.

Kaskuwere said his ministry is advising people in those areas to work together with Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to ensure that the situation is addressed and ensure that those that are affected measures are taken to protect them.

“We are engaging the affected people to try and relocate them so that they do not experience such problems in future,” said Kasukuwere.

“As a government, we should not allow people to build their houses in wetlands.

“Right now, we have a number of homes that were destroyed. I am sure you witness in Borrowdale where some homes were washed away and also along the Chitungwiza road,” added Kasukuwere.

Construction on wetlands has been blamed for the causes of flash floods in Harare, Chitungwiza and Norton town. Land barons allegedly linked to the local government minister and suspected ruling ZANU-PF party elites and youths have also been associated with invading and parceling wetlands for housing developments.

The impact of the wet season including the effects of the tropical depression caused by Cyclone Dineo has exacerbated the situation.

In Harare Metropolitan Province, Chitungwiza, Mbare, Mabvuku Epworth, Waterfalls, Hopely and Budiriro families have abandoned their homes as they have been inundated in water. In Old St Mary’s suburb in Chitungwiza, nine aged houses collapsed and more than 2500 houses are at risk of collapsing. In Mabvuku, about 500 aged houses are also at risk of collapsing.