Mejury Magaya, Midlands Reporter
GWERU Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe has conceded that previous councils blundered by parcelling out residential stands on wetlands and waterways resulting in flash floods in some suburbs.
From Wednesday last week, residents in Mkoba, Ascot, Senga, Mtapa and Mambo suburbs have been left counting their loses as flood waters made their way into their properties.
Yesterday, Clr Makombe came face to face with the residents suffering after visiting parts of the city which were heavily affected by flooding over the weekend.
Clr Makombe attributed the flooding to blundering by previous councils that allegedly issued stands in wetlands and waterways.
“The issuing out of residential and commercial stands in waterways, in infills; that was a big blunder and it should not happen again. It’s unfortunate that some have built in those areas and we can’t do much besides coming up with a plan to avoid floods. Infills should be left as they are for our recreation and also ecosystem,” he said.
“Many were affected by the floods in areas like Woodlands, Mkoba 6, 13, 16,9,10. Property and food were destroyed and in some cases books for school children were also destroyed. I moved around these areas and have instructed my management to compile a report to council so that we can see how best to assist some of the victims.”
Clr Makombe said he had also realised that the drainage system was blocked in affected areas.
“Our engineering team is on the ground doing drainage clearance, starting with the most affected areas and eventually covering the whole city. We need to educate our people about dumping and cultivating in areas that will affect the smooth flow of water. But more importantly, drainage clearance has to be done before the rains.
“As the mayor I sympathise with our residents who were affected by these floods and we are doing all we can so that such floods will not affect them again,” he added.
A Chronicle news crew visited some suburbs yesterday and residents narrated their ordeal.
Some had removed their property from their houses as they cleared water from their houses.
In some areas, sewage flowed into houses, with people fearing an outbreak of diseases.
“When it started raining, rain water containing sewer flowed into the yard flooding the house,” said a Mkoba resident who identified herself as Mrs Mabuto.