Zim prepares for flash floods

HARARE - Flash floods, which hit parts of South Africa last week damaging 150 cars in the process, have lurched Zimbabwe’s local authorities into a 100-day rapid results approach to avert a similar natural disaster here.

With a lack of pre-emergency protocol coupled with a shortage of ambulances, Zimbabwe cannot afford to deal with natural disasters, hence the need to upscale prevention.

Already, the country’s major cities are plagued with blocked storm water pipes while drains along major thoroughfares and feeder roads are clogged with garbage.

And with Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe forecasting that the country is expected to experience higher than usual rains during the 2016-2017 season, which might be accompanied by flash floods, the country is sitting on a time bomb.

The Environmental Management Authority (Ema) says it has mobilised the country’s 32 local municipal authorities to clear all storm drains.

“The flooding experiences in Johannesburg, South Africa over the past week calls for us all to manage waste sustainably ahead of the rainy season to ensure that we avoid flash floods induced by blocked storm drains,” Ema spokesperson Steady Kangata said.

He said from November 15, the country’s 32 local authorities had begun implementing a 100-day rapid results approach which prioritises waste management in a bid to keep the environment clean.

“This involves individuals, churches, institutions, corporates and local authorities to clean their immediate environs in order to avoid the blocking of storm drains which ultimately leads to flash floods,” Kangata said.

“This comes against a background of the rainy season and more so the La Niña prediction which is likely to be upon us.

“The La Niña is the opposite of the El Niño and it brings with it rains that are normal to above normal, which normally leads to flooding.”

La Niña is expected to comprise of rains characterised by strong winds.

Kanga urged residents and businesses to clear drains on the front of their properties to avert flooding, adding that councils had also been advised to clear drains.

“All storm drains should be effectively cleared in order to avoid blockages and the waste removed from the storm drain mouths,” he said.

“This will be driven by government ministries, parastatals and civil society meant to trigger action at local level in order to keep Zimbabwe clean.”

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.