With only less than two months before the onset of the rain season, all main drainages in Lusaka city are still blocked by garbage and other debris.
In Lusaka’s Kamwala trading area, the Bombay drainage, which cuts across the shops leading to drain water into Ngwerere stream, is blocked and filled with stagnant water while the drainage along Lumumba and Mumbwa roads are almost buried with growing grass and litter.
But the Lusaka City Council officials claim that the local authority has been cleaning the drainages once a week and has programmes in place to ensure that apart from drainages, the city is kept clean and healthy.
The officials, who include Lusaka City Council Director of Public Health, the Acting Assistant Director of Engineering and the Kamwala Ward Five Councillor, have told Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President Harry Kalaba that the council is on the ground working on the drainages.
But Mr. Kalaba, who has toured the drainages, has described the situation as a disaster in waiting, and if not urgently attended to, will cause loss of lives.
He is saddened with Lusaka City Council officials claiming that all is well when the situation on the ground needs urgent attention before the onset of rains just slightly under two months.
Mr. Kalaba has since directed that the council, in conjunction with the office of the District Commissioner and the Provincial Permanent Secretary, to work on the drainages and collect all garbage in the city within the next two weeks.
He says government will not wait for disaster to occur but will work proactively and prevent disasters.
During the tour, it was discovered that vendors had build makeshift restaurants and hair solons on top of the drainage along Lumumba road.
And both Acting Assistant Director for Engineering at LCC Mainza Simonga and the Kamwala Ward Five Councillor Joyce Banda say the council has over US$350 million under the Millennium Challenge account for water and sanitation programmes and drainage works.