Council moves to curb Mbare flooding crisis

By Helen Kadirire

The Harare City Council (HCC) is making moves to address a flooding crisis in part of Mbare after acknowledging it did not properly plan the construction of a shopping mall in the area.

The local authority recently constructed the Gulf Sunshine Bazaar complex along Simon Mazorodze Road which resulted in the flooding of homes adjacent to the property.

Following a tour of the area yesterday, HCC chief engineer Jonathan Mutimkulu said drainage pipes were clogged and blocked by the construction.

He said that had the city noticed the fault they would have fixed it before any damage to property had been done.

Residents along Mbirimi, Mwamuka and Chinamhora streets had thousands of dollars’ worth of property destroyed after water flooded their homes during the festive period.

“Surface run-off could be absorbed by the open space that existed before the complex.

“Pipes had already been clogged but it is now very visible because of the construction of the complex,” Mutimkulu said.

“That is why we now have to re-excavate the drains and open them up. It means as a city, we did not know that the drains were not functional but because of this structure we now know,” he said.

The engineer added that due to the increase in run-off water on the back of the rains, the local authority was moving to open up other outlets in the affected areas and has set a January 31 deadline to complete the work.

On Monday, residents affected by the floods set up a committee that would take council to court for damages of their property.

The residents argued that since construction of the Gulf complex, their homes have been affected by floods.

One of the affected residents Tracy Fisher said she has been constantly visiting council offices over the matter.

She said if council was sincere about fixing the flooding problem, it must demolish part of the complex.

“Since they began building the complex in 2013 we have been experiencing these floods.

“This year it was worse because our electrical gadgets were all damaged. Furniture and food stuffs were also affected,” Fisher said. Daily News