Harare City Council struggles with drainage clearance manpower
Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent
Harare City Council is struggling to secure manpower to clear drainage systems and cut grass across the city and has appealed to Government to be allowed to recruit more workers.
This comes as the city experienced flooding during this rainy season as most drainage systems are blocked.
Blocked stormwater drainages have remained the number one cause of flooding followed by the use of low-quality building materials, largely emanating from poor enforcement of by-laws by the local authority.
Added to that, are the vendors who put cardboard boxes which they use as stalls to sell their wares in manholes blocking the flow of water.
The struggling council has since written a letter to the Government pleading to employ more people so as to have the manpower to clear storm drainages across the city.
The local authority has also notified the residents that they were waiting for a response from the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to respond to their plight.
“The City of Harare would like to advise residents, ratepayers, motorists and relevant stakeholders that the city has a well-planned programme for drain clearance and grass cutting,” the council said in a statement.
“However, the city has a shortage of manpower in drain clearance and grass cutting. The city has already engaged the parent ministry, the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works over the matter and is still to get a response. Once the city, has been cleared to recruit, it will expedite the process.”
Floods are now a perennial problem and the number of affected towns, cities and other localities is increasing in the country.
Lives have been lost in some flash flood cases while homes have been destroyed pushing up the costs of rehabilitation for local authorities.
The Department of Civil Protection recently said their assessment in Budiriro West showed that the Marimba River was full and the bridge has been submerged.
The department said they were continuously monitoring the situation and that in Chitungwiza some people were settled on wetlands.
In December last year, the council admitted that it was failing to render adequate service delivery to the city and in some instances, the Government had to intervene to address the challenges.
This came as the city is faced with serious water challenges, poor public lighting, burst sewer pipes, and non-collection of refuse which has resulted in the emergence of illegal dumpsites, construction on wetlands and failure to refurbish roads among others, much to the anger of the residents.