A recent accident which occurred along Lomagundi Road (now Nemakonde) at Greencroft shops between a Zupco commuter omnibus and a small vehicle has exposed the problem of congestion in the suburb in terms of both vehicular and human traffic.
Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
Speaking at the scene of the accident, the Zimbabwe Combined Residents and Ratepayers’ Association, (ZICORRA) provincial coordinator Mr Lawrence Kuleya said the City of Harare had devalued properties in Harare by allowing densification, which has led to an increase in both human and vehicular traffic.
“The accident along Lomagundi at Greencroft shops, between a Zupco commuter omnibus and a vehicle coming off one of the roadside car washes has exposed how the suburb is always congested with vehicular and human traffic.
“Those who still think areas like Greencroft and Avondale are still low-density areas must think again. We are way over populated but we don’t realise it because we are always in continual movement.
“But if an incident occurs which halts movement for a while, everyone will realise how over populated we are in these areas,” he said.
“Council has surely devalued everyone’s properties through policies like densification which never benefited residents in anyway but had a lot of loopholes exploited by land barons and corrupt officials within their systems.”
Mr Kuleya blamed council for the increase in the number of households without a corresponding expansion of infrastructure.
“Densification just caused all infrastructure meant for a certain capacity of households to be overburdened which is why we have all these problems to do with service delivery all over Harare, including water, refuse collection, dilapidated roads, traffic congestion and congested sewers.
“It hasn’t only affected council systems alone but even other infrastructure like over loading of ZETDC substations, shortage of primary school places, increase in crime where police stations are now being forced to cover a wider area than what they were intended for, and now accidents.
“Densification was just poor town planning on the part of the council planning department, and sadly it has affected everything else,” said Mr Kuleya.
Recently Ward 16 residents asked central Government and council authorities to build more public schools in the ward and expand the infrastructure to match the increase in population.
A number of new suburbs have been developed in Ward 16 while new ones continue to crop up exerting pressure on the existing infrastructure such as water and sewer, health facilities, other services and schools.
According to the residents, the authorities have neglected Ward 16 as far as the construction of more schools and expansion of infrastructure in the ward is concerned.
The residents said the population has since tripled and more people continue to be allocated residential stands but the number of schools and other services are not being increased.
The same goes for infrastructure, which has not been expanded to cater for the growing population.
Residents said the situation was getting dire as it was now common to find 80 students in a single classroom at the public schools in the ward.
A resident who spoke to the Suburban said the population of Ward 16 has grown 10-fold since independence yet there is no corresponding development in social services and expansion or new infrastructure.
“It’s ridiculous that we now find 80 children in a single classroom. Ward 16 population has increased from 5 000 with three junior schools and two high schools to the size of a small town with just under 50 000 residents and not a single new school,” said the concerned resident.
Ward 16 residents bemoaned that the ward is now over populated and there are no resources and infrastructure to cater for the current increased population.