Flash floods and blocked drains cause trouble in Zimbabwe capital

Lovemore Lubinda

The continuous rains falling across the country are exposing Harare municipal management’s incompetence.

Falling on a stretch of days, streets have proven difficult to navigate, while storm drains have been clogged with rubbish resulting in water flowing over streets further damaging roads.  In typical river crossing fashion, pedestrians had to resort to taking off their shoes, roll up their trousers and skirts as they cross from one street to the other. As if that is not enough, in some streets water is spilling over the pavements, at shop floor level.

The most affected area of the city is the downtown area, leaving shop owners who are expecting good sales owing to the festive season’s last minute purchases, and the buying public equally shocked.

Motorists and pedestrians who spoke to a ZimNews.net team expressed their joy for  the abundant rains falling but chided the Harare municipality for not preparing adequately for the flash flooding despite predictions by the Metrological Services department that there was going to a likelihood of flooding across the country.  They blame management at Town House for lack of competence and failing to learn from past experiences.

Tedias Mugau, a motorist had no kind words for the city fathers. “We least expect this to happen again, these guys shouldn’t be sleeping on the job like this, they had whole year to prepare for the rains by clearing the drains.

“Last year this happened when a lot of cars were damaged by the foods, there is no excuse for it, incompetence public official should be removed for failing us,” he fumed.

One pedestrian to be caught in the mayhem is Sharon Chemhuru, she said most often, the drains have their covers broken, and because of high verbosity where all other drains are blocked it pose danger in the event that someone falls in them.

“Just imagine if the streets are flooded like this, you don’t see where you are going,” said Chemhuru.

Meanwhile, City of Harare’s Acting Corporate Communications manager, Michael Chideme gave assurance a week ago that the problem of flash floods in the city had been taken care of. “We have put measures in place to deal with the problem of flash flooding, we have an ongoing program of clearing storm grains,” he said.

Last year the local authority was sued successfully by motorists who had their parked motor vehicles damaged by the floods.

 

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