Sunday, June 16, 2024

Lusaka Floods, Our Leaders to Blame

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By Engineer – Ngobola Cengelo Muyembe

I have written about this topic for years even before the closed down the Post Newspaper.

These floods around Lusaka are happening because our leaders think that only outside Consultants or anyone with a PhD can provide the solution. They also think that anyone with money can construct anywhere they want regardless of land use the same way Diego Cassili and Mark O’Donnel have done at East Park and Protea Arcades.

Now we have multi storey buildings coming up on land that was mean to house the maximum of 12 people without a corresponding expansion of the drainage or sewerage.

For the Millennium Challenge Account which was a gift to the Zambian people, the whole town was flooded with South Africans and Europeans.

Fluid Mechanics and hydraulic calculations are some of the most complicated designs you can easily get wrong. Ask anyone who has attempted to calculate hydraulic jumps or coefficients in the Darcy Weisbach.

The way you drain your sink is the same way you drain a town but their must be a balance in your design. From start to finish the drainage has to be continuous if it is to function properly must combine all the flow in order to clear the area.

But not everything has got to be drained because some places are recharge points that need to flood. That is why you must not build on them without proper designs not just of the structure you want to construct but the impact on surrounding areas.

Salama Park, East Park, Marshlands, Chalala, Ndeke Vorna Valley, Kalikiliki Dam and all the other areas I have been writing about in the past should have never been built over that way. These were recharge points meant to store water and building on them blocks the water from recharging the aquifers that have even dried up in Lusaka.

The damage has been done already and the results are there for all to see. The only thing that must happen is to find a solution which will have to cost a lot of money. My solutions are a bit harsh as I would want to demolish a few structures to pave way from recharge and drainage.

This will be in billions of dollars if they have to get it right.

But where there is money, that is where you will find European and American pretend consultants offering made up solutions that don’t last and our leader never learn.

You shall hear in a few days or months from now that some person from somewhere has a solution. And the saga continues.

44 COMMENTS

    • He has excellent points if you can read! Lusaka has no enforcement of Zoning. When you build significant structures you must assess whether drainage is adequate and mitigate or not build. That’s pretty obvious and throughout Lusaka the lack of zoning priorities is obvious. There is also no garbage or refuse management in the existing drains. This is another factor in urban flooding, Deny science at your harm

  1. Arcades and Eastpark shopping centres, Lusaka Showgrounds, Chainama golf club and Kalingalinga township are all built on low-lying land that acts as a natural sponge for water flowing from the ridge in Woodlands, Long Acres and Kabulonga. Without property development this process was entirely natural and slow as the water was sinking into the soil. Now that the sponge has been built over, less absorption takes place and this is the water flooding Thabo Mbeki road and National Assembly motel etc.

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  2. Arcades and Eastpark shopping centres, UNZA Great East road campus, Lusaka Showgrounds, Chainama golf club and Kalingalinga township are all built on low-lying land that acts as a natural sponge for water flowing from the ridge in Woodlands, Long Acres and Kabulonga. Without property development this process was entirely natural and slow as the water was sinking into the soil. Now that the sponge has been built over, less absorption takes place and this is the water flooding Thabo Mbeki road and National Assembly motel, Protea Hotel and Arcades shopping centre etc. And when you add solid rubbish clogging the drains, it becomes a Zambian living nightmare.

  3. I totally agree with you. But we also share the blame. Why have we allowed dimwit politicians to make all decisions? Even on matters they least understand? Even a layman can tell that part of the problem around Mass Media area is the manner construction has been conducted. I’ve seen houses enclosed in a wall fence and nicely paved but without water outlets! I’ve also seen places where one sites septic tanks and across the wall fence another sites a borehole within 10metres or less. Isn’t this self inflicted hardship?

  4. Listen the ones to blames are you Civil Engineers and the media.

    Civil Engineers for the absolutely shoddy works you do, generally the craftsmanship in Zambia has gone down the drain since the Kaunda days. We no longer take pride in getting the job done and done properly. A job worth doing is a job done well.

    The media to blame for not highlighting these issues, every year before the rain starts you people in the media have an opportunity to bring out the dangers we expect due to the poor drainage systems we have but instead you want to report on what Kambwili said about a lizard in his holding cel. Almost all news outlets will run with sensationalist headlines. How can you develop with a media like this? Start to report on development almmatyers and not personal matters.

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  5. We urgently need to impose a building code countrywide. Otherwise, we will continue looking like fools in our own country.

  6. Well said – does anyone listen – no. Before roads get the drainage sorted out – not too late – example Arcades area – GET SOME LAND FOCEFULLY FROM UNZA – MAKE A BIG AS POSSIBLE DAM – ALL DRAINAGE FROM A CERATIN AREA SHOULD BE CHANNELLED TO THE DAME WHICH CAN BE USED TO FILL UP THE UNDERGROUND STREAMS ETC

    Maybe you should write an article in the diggers for all to see and use one area as a research, test and solution – but then again will the government listen ???? all about money money money ;; sad indeed

  7. The Black Whiteman of Zambia will solve this problem.
    His cousin Muna Hantuba, brother in marriage Valentine Chitalu, Mapani 1 in Zesco and Mapani 2 in NAPSA his maternal relatives will solve every problem of Zambia. They are out there cutting deals for Haka-in-noodle. Wait for mines looting by undervaluation and these mafia relatives having 39% shares in the mines.

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  8. We never had such level of flooding during pf. So don’t blame pf leaders. Blame your f00Iish self for voting in mediocre failed party like upnd

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    • This is the problem with being an Impostor it wants to comment on everything without reading when was East Park Mall constructed …which govt approved the building of 34,000 m2 (370,000 sq ft) of Mall on water recharge land?

    • Look at this monkey called tarino. It has been 2 years since its fellow Bush pigs took over but they are still pointing fingers at pf. It will soon be 2026 and they would have achieved nothing but crying and blaming pf. Hh will not and i repeat will not win the presidency

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  9. This article looks like its beein written by an angry local Engineer who did not even take time to check what they have written before submitting …I mean what is “For the Millennium Challenge Account which was a gift to the Zambian people, the whole town was flooded with South Africans and Europeans.” The whole article is incoherent and does not flow its not fluid is the phrase this man will understand…have an introduction, then outline the problem dont just go into a rant.

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    • He will not tell you that Millenium Challenge Account was delivered under budget and before time to the point where the USAID used the surplus for other additional projects which were not in the budget.

  10. Kalikiliki Dam was a dam formed a barrier between Ibex Hill and Mutendere compound I remember taking a swim in there when we were kids with empty cooking oil containers as floaters which stolen from us by the local kids. I visited the place after 14 years only to find Mansions built over a dam I mean this was a dam that was full all year round where is all that water going to go? The previous govts especially the PF govt had no respect for the Land dept it was free for all any land would be swarmed by cadres…as a city we need to claim back all these areas or else it will be dire for the future of the city. Forest 27 is another one where the govt is dragging its feet becuse the elite have plots in there.

    • Liar. You have not been in zambia since 1996. Sort out your papers there first and you may be able to visit. You cannot cheat us. You think we don’t know who you are

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  11. Engineer Ngobola Cengelo Muyembe please sign off with your email address. Looking forward to your future articles on this matter

  12. In the old days flooding was restricted to informal settlements like Kanyama, Mitsisi. Now I see you are having flooding in your so-called Mayadi. Something has really gone wrong

  13. That is the result when thieves like Kaizar Zulu become rulers. So long as they can keep on exploiting Zambians, they will never care. They are fooling Zambians by pretending l8e confiscating goods from the corrupt elite. We are years further. Where are all the confiscated properties. Where are auctions? Stop cheating and stop lying to Zambians

  14. Agree with @Ayatollah and @ Diaspora – Planning departments in our councils is non existent except on paper to fill jobs. We have reverted to building village houses in towns without any certification and approval from our councils building departments. Floods in bedrooms results.

  15. Local engineer frustrated at not being given a contract. The moment you engineers stop putting eng. In front of your names and just put your name followed by your degree as is the practice the world over, thats when we shall also start listening to you.

    • The man is not professional and a not doing local engineering fraternity any good with such utter careless ranting…there are ways of expressing frustration in writing even if you are posting from your Face_book page.

  16. HYPOCRISY IN REPORTING. THE PF DID A LOT DAMAGE TO LAND USE , PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION, THE PF OFFICIALS THRUGH THE COUNCILS GAVE OUT PLOTS AN5 HOW, THEY NEVER BOTHERED ABOUT THE REPERCUSSIONS RELATED TO DAMAGING THE WATER SOURCES AND NATURAL PATTERNS OF DRAINAGE . ALL THEY KNEW WAS AMASSING MONEY THROUGH SALES OF LAND. TH NEW DAWN GOVERNMENT HAS NOTED All THESE IRREGULARITIES AND IS STRIVING TO MAKE SERIOUS CORRECTIVE DECISIONS BUT THE SAME CROOKED PF RELATED PEOPLE ARE AT THE SAME TIME OPPOSING THE GOOD DECISIONS AS IS WITH THE FOREST NO 27. IN THIS REGARD THE AUTHOR OF THE ARTICLE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SPECIFIC AND STATE THE MAIN GOVERNMENT THAT HAD CAUSED MOST OF THE PROBLEMS

  17. HYPOCRISY IN REPORTING. THE PF DID A LOT DAMAGE TO LAND USE , PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION, THE PF OFFICIALS THRUGH THE COUNCILS GAVE OUT PLOTS ANYHOW, THEY NEVER BOTHERED ABOUT THE REPERCUSSIONS RELATED TO DAMAGING THE WATER SOURCES AND NATURAL PATTERNS OF DRAINAGE . ALL THEY KNEW WAS AMASSING MONEY THROUGH SALES OF LAND. UNDENIABLY , THE NEW DAWN GOVERNMENT HAS NOTED All THESE IRREGULARITIES AND IS STRIVING TO MAKE SERIOUS CORRECTIVE DECISIONS BUT THE SAME CROOKED PF RELATED PEOPLE ARE AT THE SAME TIME OPPOSING THE GOOD DECISIONS AS IT IS WITH THE FOREST NO 27. IN THIS REGARD THE AUTHOR OF THE ARTICLE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SPECIFIC AND STATE THE MAIN GOVERNMENT THAT HAD CAUSED MOST OF THE PROBLEMS

  18. But the author can also offer his engineering services and help resolve the problem
    Just show your engineering track record dealing with similar issues.
    Its easier for you to argue your case against foreign consultants that way

    • This man is a Principal Engineer at his company as abbreviated – NGM Consulting Engineers Ltd surely how can any govt award such an unprofessional chap who can not present his case in a professional manner at the same time educating the masses. I dont you will be ever awarded any GRZ because of your rantings.

  19. These floods speak volumes of the attitude of workers toward work. Zambian workers let us not fold our arms watching things costing a lot money being damaged. These floods are creating a health hazard to our environment too. Why should we even fail to clean our toilets?

  20. The rotten PF govt allowed building and street vending everywhere in the name of gaining votes. The result = current flooding and cholera epidemic of 2018.

  21. What this guy means is that there areas that should not have been built on, not only recently but even historically. There areas from what I understand with shallow soils requiring forest cover to prevent rapid water saturation. Once you strip these areas of forest cover, the soil saturates rapidly resulting heavy water run off and consequently flooding.

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