THE flooding in some Ward 16 suburbs has exposed the City of Harare’s derelict of duty as it failed to clear storm water drains ahead of the rainy season.
Since Wednesday last week council has received 85 reports from affected residents.
Some of the residents in the suburbs in question built houses without council approval while in other areas poor drainage has been blamed for the residents’ plight.
The worst affected suburbs are Mabelreign, Sentosa, Sanganai Inn, Westlea, Ashdown Park, Haig Park, Sunridge and 100 Percent (Housing) Cooperative.
In Tynwald North, residents who live on the ground floors of Blocks 9, 10, 11 and 12 at North Flats were awoken around midnight last week Friday by water seeping into their houses as heavy rains fell.
A resident at the flats said the flooding was being caused by poor drainage systems and urged those living on the ground floors to be alert.
Residents have called for a prompt and permanent solution to the drainage issue as they experience flooding every rainy season.
The last time the area experienced floods, an excavator was dispatched to clear the nearby stream that was full of weeds but council workers left without remedying the situation.
“We remember last time, an excavator came and parked for a few days in front of Block 2.
“Later, we overheard that they want to the clear the stream because of flooding.
“After a few manoeuvres behind Sanganai flats, the excavator left,” said a resident.
The nearby stream is full of weeds and water cannot flow such that even showers will result in unmanageable runoff.
Residents said council workers visited the affected flats but indicated that they would only clear the stream in August.
Some residents said water was getting into their flats although there was no damage to property.
“Fortunately, there was no damage.
“Yes they came but they said they can only clear the stream in August as their equipment is likely to sink in the mud,” said a resident.
Another resident from the same flats said the issue is poor drainage especially on four block of flats.
“Council came to assess last week.
“They did the same thing the past rainy season but nothing was done,” said the resident.
Residents of Sentosa also complained of blocked drains which resulted in flooding last week Thursday.
A Sentosa resident said it was difficult to drive on Westminster Road and Quendon Road from the flats towards West Road or the Bishop Gaul Road traffic light on that day as it was flooded.
She said when driving through the area, she could feel her car being pulled off course as it was overwhelmed by the gushing water.
“It was hard to control it. All the rivers are blocked and the wetlands are all full of maize so there is no drainage,” she said.
Suburban carried a survey in the area and discovered that most storm water drains were clogged with weeds growing in some of the drains.
On Goodrington Drive in Sunridge, residents on Friday morning last week woke up to yards flooded with water.
Affected residents told Suburban that it was a bad experience although no property was damaged.
“This is what we experienced but water didn’t get into the house.
“It missed by a little bit and I was praying that the rains will stop for a while,” said a Sunridge resident.
She said her situation was worsened by the fact that her house was on lower ground and whenever there are heavy rains, her yard gets flooded.
“I don’t know exactly.
“I think the house is on lower level so when there are floods from my neighbour and from outside, it comes into my yard.
“I still have to look for an expert who will give me some good advice,” said the resident.
Ward 16 Councillor Denford Ngadziore said City of Harare workers visited and attended to some of the affected areas where they unblocked underground pipes among other works.
“We conducted site visits together with the acting DO Mrs Gambiza and council staff to assess the impact of floods following the heavy rains that have been received.
“Our council staff attended to some of the reported cases. We noted some property owners have developed properties without approval and this has in turn blocked waterways resulting in water being diverted and causing floods.
“We also note that many developers have neglected constructing culvert entries on their properties. This is a requirement and council is mandated to see to it that this requirement is met,” said Cllr Ngadziore.