Harare’s flash floods caused by littering – Council
By Farai Dauramanzi
City of Harare has announced that it has dispatched teams to unblock catch pits and storm water drains following the first heavy rains which came on the 17th of November 2014 causing flash floods which left some smaller vehicles unable to move on the swamped surfaces.
In a press statement on 18 November 2014, Engineer Philip Pfukwa the City’s director of works responsible for waste management, engineering, roads and urban planning attributed the flash floods to garbage that was swept into the city’s drainage system by the first rains causing blockages.
“Council routinely does maintenance of the catch pits and storm water drains but, we are always overtaken by the first rains… Illegal vendors are also to blame for the blockages since they are operating on areas that are not serviced with bins,” said Eng Pfukwa.
Eng Pfukwa said that the result of careless behaviour such as littering was the chocking of storm water drains and the subsequent inconvenience to pedestrians and motorists.
“Council has dedicated garbage trucks that service the CBD. We encourage stakeholders in the CBD to make good use of the vehicles. But some people especially shop owners have decided to offload their garbage into alleys and on to pavements of their shops. This practice is widespread in down town Harare,” said Eng Pfukwa.
Eng Pfukwa also said that businesses and residents should take responsibility of the frontage of their premises through the clearing of blocked water drains and culverts, “City by-laws make it mandatory for property owners to take that charge.”
Council also took the opportunity to warn motorists against parking under trees during the rains as some of the trees are now old. This warning comes after some vehicles were fallen over by trees on the first day of rains in Harare.
“Council takes this opportunity to urge motorists to exercise caution when parking their vehicles during this period. They should avoid parking under trees. Whilst council acknowledges that some of the trees are old, trees are an important component in the urban ecosystem,” said Eng Pfukwa.