Defiant flood-prone residents blamed

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 14:25:20 +0000

BY KALOBWE BWALYA

THE problem of floods could not be avoided because most people had built their houses in quarries and the problem of floods in such areas like Kuku and Chawama was perennial and a long-term solution was needed because most houses were water-logged and would not last for a long time.

Jerome Mushashe of Kuku compound challenged now, the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to take action immediately to stop illegal settlements and deal ruthlessly with people building on top of water pipes and drainages.

The ccurrence of floods in Kuku, Ngwena, Chipata and Kalikiliki compounds as well as other parts of Lusaka are as a result of poor planning, shoddy works and lack of proper drainage system, some Lusaka residents have charged.

Mr Mushashe said some residents from Kuku compound were in 2014 advised to vacate the flood-prone areas by then deputy minister in the Office of the Vice President Davies Mwango in order to facilitate the construction of drainages but refused, claiming that they had nowhere to go.

“The problem of floods could not be avoided because most people had built their houses in quarries and the problem of floods in such areas like Kuku and Chawama was perennial and a long-term solution was needed because most houses were water-logged and would not last for a long time,” he said.

Another resident from Ngwena area Makumbale Akuna said despite advice from Government and stakeholders for people to move out to safer places, they resisted and did not move out because most land had been sold and occupied.

“We have nowhere to go because most of land in Lusaka has been sold out, and in Chongwe where Government wanted us to settle is very far and life there might be expensive,” he said.

Mr Josephat Mhango of Kamwala area blamed the residents for not heeding government advice through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to consider evacuating to safe places before the rains.

He said Government attached great importance to the lives of its citizens hence the endangered residents should comply with Government instructions aimed at easing their lives by moving to safer areas.

Brandina Siyakubale, a widow who lives near the famous Blue Water dam in Chawama, vowed not to vacate her home despite threats of outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

And Mildred Kabali from Makeni Villa said it was becoming expensive for Government to embark on a repatriation exercise, hence the need for residents to move to safer places before the rains.

“Although mitigation measures have been put in place by Government, people should not feel comfortable to live in such places as they cannot fully determine the amount of rainfall expected this rainy season,” she said.

She said it was only through concerted efforts by various players including the residents themselves that issues to do with calamities could be won in the country.

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