This cropping season’s heavy rains have exposed the shortcomings of most local authorities that have been allocating home seekers stands in wetlands.
Some of the culprits are land barons that have also been allocating stands in wetlands, in some cases without approval from councils.
The beneficiaries of such stands now have to contend with constant flooding of houses and in some worse situations, council have been forced to evacuate the affected families.
Gweru City Council is one of the councils that have been forced to evacuate some affected families.
The council recently moved at least 30 families to temporary shelters it set up to accommodate flood victims. The affected suburbs were Woodlands, Montrose and Mtapa.
The problem of flooding of houses built in wetlands is widespread in different cities and towns.
The Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Cde Daniel Garwe said recently that he had directed Harare City Council to immediately move people who were allocated stands in wetlands in Budiriro suburb.
He said what was disturbing was that most of the stands in the wetlands were allocated by land barons.
“We know there are many land barons that should be brought to book and dealt with decisively,” said Minister Garwe. In some cases, the flooding of houses is as a result of poor drainage in the affected suburbs.
In some cases, land developers have not put up the required infrastructure such as storm drains hence the flooding.
There is therefore urgent need for councils to address the problem of flooding in their respective cities and towns. In cases where the developers did not put up the required infrastructure, councils should ensure such infrastructure is put up immediately.
Councils are supposed to inspect housing schemes to ensure the developers meet all the requirements to make the new suburbs habitable. We want to implore councils to immediately address the shortcomings in their housing development exposed by the recent heavy rains.