HARARE city authorities reacted with panic yesterday to deploy teams to clear storm water drains after heavy rains that fell in the city resulted in clogging of the system, causing floods on the streets that threatened to submerge parked vehicles.Some properties were damaged in shops, forcing owners to close early as their workers battled to clear water that had been diverted inside because of the failure of the drainage system, while some vehicles were damaged by trees toppled by the heavy rains.
Workers at a food outlet and shops along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue were forced to close shop and mop muddy water which found its way into the mall as a result of clogged storm water drains.
As if they were all along not aware that the rainy season was on, Harare city authorities deployed teams after the rains stopped to clear the storm water drains.
“The teams should be finishing the emergency work now (late last night) and resume at 7am,” said Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni. “I cannot confirm if all the major blockages have been cleared and drained.
“It is also quite possible that some drains may have cleared themselves. One indication is that road litter has been washed in to block the drainage by today’s heavy storm. It calls on us to work twice as hard on road side garbage and for our dear residents to see the negative impact of their littering.”
Manyenyeni appealed to drivers to exercise patience during the rainy season, saying it is the time when motorists can turn the city into a jungle.
“I appeal to all our drivers to exercise patience as much as possible showing courtesy to the next road user, be it fellow drivers or pedestrians. All it takes are a couple of bad selfish drivers to jam the whole city,” he said.
“It is the time to show our human side by avoiding getting into intersections when it’s clear that you cannot proceed through. No driver should find himself stopping within an intersection.”