Sunday, 6 December 2020

VIC FALLS HIT BY FLOODS

HEAVY rains that have been falling in Victoria Falls since Saturday have exposed the municipality’s poor drainage system after flash floods swept through houses and destroyed roads in Mkhosana suburb.

While no fatalities or serious destruction of infrastructure have been reported, residents lost groceries and other property that got submerged in water which in some cases was at knee level.

Some were stuck indoors as they could not go out of their houses which were literally marooned. There are few storm drains in Mkhosana and water flows on the surface whenever it rains. Poor drainage is a major concern which residents even raised during budget consultation meetings.

There is also concern about random littering as garbage including diapers, plastic bottles and papers have blocked storm drains. The worst affected is ward 11 in Mkhosana suburb where most of the road network is not tarred.

Residents raised concern after roads and some houses were flooded. A news crew visited some of the affected sections of the suburb and observed that some roads were flooded.

Several houses were literally marooned as a result of storm drains that have been blocked by litter and sand.

Some residents were digging trenches to redirect water from their houses while others were using rubbish bins and containers to scoop the water. Residents sent an SOS to municipality management on Saturday.

Similar rains were experienced yesterday morning thereby worsening the situation. This comes as the Meteorological Services Department has predicted countrywide rains and emphasised the need for caution.

Council management and engineers visited some of the affected sections to assess the situation. The Chronicle was told that residents’ property was damaged as a result of the flooding.

Victoria Falls Combined Residents Association chairman Mr Kelvin Moyo blamed council for not being proactive.

“There is a need to prepare for the rain season. Council should clear storm drains before the rains. We are going towards getting city status and we are experiencing signs of lack of competence as far as service delivery is concerned which is worrying,” he said.

During the municipality 2021 budget consultation meetings residents complained about poor drainage and implored council to set aside funds to construct storm drains and surface roads especially in Mkhosana.

Ward 11 councillor Edmore Zhou said the town has never experienced such flooding before. “The situation is bad and this has never happened hence no one was prepared.

“We visited some of the affected places and the challenge is the drainage system which needs fixing.

“Our biggest problem in Mkhosana is the gradient which doesn’t allow water to flow down to Chinotimba and all the rain water drains towards VID side and houses in the area get flooded. There is a need for storm drains,” said Cllr Zhou.

He said construction of storm drains and water reservoirs should be a priority in Mkhosana. Cllr Zhou also urged residents to take precautionary measures to avoid damage to property or loss of life.

“We visited the affected areas with engineers and we wish something can be done as a matter of urgency. While the council is trying to work on a solution, residents should also try to protect their property by blocking water from flowing into houses,” said the councillor.  Chronicle

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