Wednesday, February 28, 2024

5 feared dead in sewer tragedy


File:Construction workers working on the drainage system in Lusaka

Five people are feared dead after part of the earth caved in as they were working on a sewer line in Lusaka’s Ibex Hill area.

The men, who had been engaged by a private contractor, were working on the sewer line on private property when part of the earth collapsed on them while in a ditch.

Scores of curious onlookers rushed to the scene of the accident as the fire brigade struggled to retrieve the five people last evening.

Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela confirmed the incident last night, but could not give further details, saying she was out of the office at the time.

Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) said as concerned stakeholders, it would appeal to relevant authorities such as the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to suspend the works.

LSWC spokesperson, Topsy Sikalinda said there was no public safety guaranteed when carrying out the works on some private properties.

“As stakeholders LWSC will appeal to relevant authorities to have the works suspended because the issue of public safety has been compromised here,” said Mr Sikalinda, who was at the scene of the accident.

By Press time, fire fighters were still trying to retrieve the men after the fatal accident which occurred around 17:30 hours.

The men were working on private property and LWSC was trying to establish the owner.

{Times of Zambia]

“The earth is suspected to have fallen on them and the fire brigade is here trying to retrieve the people,” Mr Sikalinda said.

Two weeks ago, a similar incident happened in the same area.


  1. Too bad.Am pretty sure the guys were not even insured.What a great loss it will be if my worst fears are to be confirmed.Fingers crossed.

  2. Poor skills, poor workmanship combined into a disaster but this time there is no Chinese involved. As Zambians we are just enemies of ourselves.

  3. Are the guys dead or not? You left us hanging: If you dont have sufficient information why dont you wait until you have some! Dont behave like an ALARMIST !

    • # 4, what does this statement mean to you? “5 feared dead in sewer tragedy” And you asking whether the guys are dead or not. Hey!


  4. This is what corruption can do, no safety officers, no Personal Protective Equipment and no proper Job Safety Analysis is what caused the accident to happen and nothing else. We blame the contractor and engineers for their failure to ensure safety for their workers. RIP guys

  5. am told this is the second incident in the same area by the same contract. One person was killed about a month and half ago. I thought such issues have been dealt with by now. I remember of a similar case in Kabwe by Appollo contrustion company in the early 80’s.

    I guess a mining engineer is required, and safety guaranteed else we will continue losing breadwinners

  6. The workers were buried under 2-3m of earth, and sadly wouldn’t have survived more than 15 minutes. The ditch is five metres deep – to the extent that the jcb digger in the ditch is hidden from view. Kids have been climbing on the piles of earth on their way to school, and from a two lane tarred road there is now barely room for one car to pass – at risk of a soil slide on to the car. Three hours before this incident, a truck was stuck in the soil.  To further clarify this report, the previous death was at the exact same spot and same project. 

  7. In a developed nation, someone with proper equipment would have been digging and not the way these people are seen working. Too bad and a great loss if they have died. The company should be sued.

  8. This is correct. The project is three houses from mine. The works on this road are endless. The jcb was barely visible from kabulonga rd and now most rd is closed. How can a private developer dig out an entire section of a public rd without the necessary nape cations being done.?

  9. This project, which has now claimed six lives, is an iniative of a private property developer who wants to connect his/her properties to LWSC main sewer line. However, from the look of things, the private developer did not engage the owners of the sewer facilities,LWSC neither did they involve the council in their project. This act is not only chaotic but has potential to undermine existing infrastructure including sewer network, roads, private wall fences etc. It is for this reason that relevant authorities should ensure that the private developer is held accountable and responsble for the loss of our dear ones.

  10. I live along Mosi Road where this project is being implemented. It is a sorry sight.Motorists and the general public have been inconvinienced a lot. The road is literred with heaps of soil which produce a lot of dust when a car drives through. LCC should be pro-active and ensure the road is made passable. Any costs associated with excercise should be paid by the developer. Enough is enough.If nothing happens to this road, Motorists and affected residents will demostrate at LCC this afternoon.

    • The guys is right ba Nosteledamus. Why should we be subjected to dust dust and dust. Is it part of African living? Wherever the black man is he makes dust his companion. Why doesnt Europe have dust? Because the councils there have worked on it realising that their residents need to live COMFORTABLY

  11. Accidents of this kind will be many as long as we do not follow the law. Law breaking is what causes such. Also the council is to blame, when giving out plots it’s very important that power, water pipes, and sewer lines is in place.
    People have died because of total negligence by a black man. Black man is a problem. That private place/ plot was just given without sewer lines and people had to did pit toilets after it became full they just moved to another place and never secured the old place. Black and negligence is like phone and simcard

  12. Authorities should look into the possibility of Sinkholes in the area. If Limestone is involved, then this could be highly likely. There should be safety experts on site at all times. Call on the Departments of Civil Engineering and the Mining Engineering Departments at UNZA and consult. Surely there should be someone there who knows that might be going on.

  13. When are these people going to learn…when digging trenches more than 1.5 metres depth temporary support should be used or the excavation sides should be battered to a safe angle of repose to make the excavation safer. No ground can ever be relied upon to stand unsupported in all circumstances. Remember that one cubic metre of soil can weigh as much as one tonne when it collapses.
    Its time the authorities came on hard on these cowboy builders….

  14. dziko la anyani la tsoka ili. akalira yansatsi mwana. ndiye sitiwothera. zitheka bwanji imfa zotere in the dry season? Zambia is one BIG JOKE. kwa Mununga lightening is sold at the market and you buy it cheaply to eliminate your enemy even in the dry season. That is Zambia for you. 

  15. It was a pure accident and subsidence has been common in that area, a compressor was supposed to be used to provide air at random incase it reaches the victims, the JCB will even kill the fellows, trenching on the sides to provide a tunnel would have helped. Now poor zambia, no equipment for such eventualities.

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