Source: Concerns over houses affected by floodwater – DailyNews Live January 18, 2017
HARARE – A residents’ association has voiced its concerns about homes
being submerged by floodwater due to poor land use and management in
Harare, which is posing a serious humanitarian disaster.
This comes after 30 families whose houses were built about 50 metres away
from Marimba River in Budiriro 5 had to be evacuated after they were
displaced by flooding. Dramatic scenes showed emergency workers evacuating
residents across the floods and houses filled with water.
“…we are concerned over the haphazard allocation of residential stands
which is mostly being done for political expediency while totally
disregarding proper land use and management,” Combined Harare Residents
Association (Chra) chairperson Simbarashe Moyo said.
“Most of these residential stands are being issued out by housing
cooperatives connected to political bigwigs and the allocation is largely
on a partisan basis.”
Houses have over the years sprouted on undesignated areas as a result of
mainly politicians abusing their power to form “cooperatives” that they
use to grab land and sell to desperate home-seekers while in some cases,
land is being used as a campaign tool.
Most of the houses have been built in areas without water and sanitation
facilities, thus compromising the health of residents.
“In as much as we appreciate that residents have a right to shelter, we
are concerned that the lives of residents who have built on undesignated
sites are at high risk as has been witnessed in Budiriro,” Moyo said.
“Chra implores central government to ensure that political interference,
which has largely been responsible for land grabs and the sprouting of
illegal structures across Harare, is stopped.
“There is also need to deal decisively with the cancer of corruption which
is also responsible for the growth of illegal settlements in Harare.
“Chra also calls upon the Harare City Council to deal with the poor
drainage systems that have resulted in flooding in some residential areas
as well as in the Central Business District.”
Mbare residents are claiming $57 000 in compensation from Harare City
Council following damage to their property by flooding. More than 30
residents living along Mbirimi, Mwamuka, Chinamhora and Dumbujena streets
were hit by a deluge of water on December 26 after heavy rains and poor
drainage resulted in flooded roads and houses.