The Zambia Humanitarian Actors Platform (ZHAP), a loose alliance of local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working in the humanitarian sector, has noted with concern the impact of heavy rains that the country is receiving particularly with regard to flash flooding in the urban areas.
ZHAP Interim Chairperson Stephen Nyirenda Janet said while the rains come as a blessing after consecutive poor rain seasons, the poor state of drainage infrastructure in the cities and towns is causing losses to home owners and small businesses especially in peri-urban areas.
Mr Nyirenda said the major flooding within Lusaka City itself has been observed and affecting residential areas.
He noted that a significant contributor to this circumstance lies in the fact that several major outfall drains are filled with garbage, while others are completely blocked by illegal developments in densely populated areas such as Mtendere, Kaunda Square, Mandevu, Garden, and Kalikiliki where disturbance on the drainage system is rampant.
As reported in the media, several homes have collapsed and household goods have been damaged by the floods.
Mr Nyirenda said many families have also abandoned the flooded houses in the above mentioned residential areas of Lusaka.
“ Bearing in mind the warning from the metrological department that more heavy rains are still expected in the coming few days, there is a possibility of water logging in fields in rural areas which could adversely affect small scale farmers, and this year’s crop production,” Mr Nyirenda pointed out.
He said the situation could also have an impact on the livelihoods of people and their assets.
The interim Chairperson has called for an immediate rapid assessment to help determine the extent of damage and losses incurred.
The platform has further called on private business firms, donor community, and general public to support and supplement government and local authority efforts in responding to the immediate and long term needs of individuals and communities who may have been affected in one way or another across the country.