Dorcas Jiri Herald Reporter
Harare City Council has been rapped for failing to clear storm drains on time to avert flash floods on the city’s streets.
In an interview, Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba castigated the council for refusing to take heed of their advice to clear the drains ahead of the rain season.
“We advised the council’s engineering department to clear the drains and wrote letters to them, but they did not respond,” he said.
“The residents wanted the council to solve the issue before the rains had started, instead they turned a deaf ear on the matter. Poor drainage system is causing flooding on the city streets and damaging properties.”
On Monday, clogged drains and poor drainage caused flash floods in various parts of the city, forcing some shops to close while some cars were submerged.
Some residents said the failure by council to routinely collect rubbish had caused the blockage of storm drains.
“The problem is that the responsible authorities do not collect litter on time, which in turn blocks water drains,” said George Sandu, a city resident.
“Litter is not being collected and the council is sleeping on the job. They are not clearing the drainage system on time and now they are panicking.”
However, city director of works Engineer Phillip Pfukwa blamed littering for the city’s flood woes.
He urged people to use bins and designated rubbish dumpsites in order to minimise on rubbish that finds its way into drains.
“We have deployed teams along Baines Avenue, Highfield Road, Kenneth Kaunda, Rekayi Tangwena and Cameroon Street to clear catch pits and storm water drains,” he said.
“Road litter caused the major blockages of drains and we are currently carrying out an awareness campaign around town to encourage residents to use bins and designated points to avert littering”.