Thursday, April 18, 2024

President Hichilema Calls for Urgent Measures to Address Flood Situation in Lusaka

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The President of the Republic of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema, has urged the Lusaka City Council to take immediate action to address the flood situation in the city. The President, while touring the Kabwata, Chawama, Kanyama and Matero constituencies of Lusaka, called for the redesigning of the drainage system and the relocation of people to safer areas, citing the need for proper city planning as a lasting solution to the problem.

The heavy rains have led to severe flooding in most parts of the city, including the Central Business District, with the worst-affected areas being Kabwata, Chawama, Kanyama, and Matero. Lusaka city’s low topography and high water table, along with a geology composed of highly impermeable limestone, make it vulnerable to extensive flooding during the rainy season. The lack of proper drainage infrastructure or poorly maintained facilities, especially in informal settlements, has exacerbated the problem. Furthermore, the CBD’s underground drainage system no longer has the capacity to operate efficiently due to the increase in infrastructure development and the indiscriminate disposal of waste.

The President has called on relevant bodies, including the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), to work together and fix the challenges posed by the floods. In an effort to mitigate the expected impacts of the heavy rainfall, the Lusaka City Council has started working on the most flood-prone areas within the city. The council has purchased a second Pressure Jet to help with the underground CBD drains and has begun working on opening up some drains within the Kabwata constituency. Road works and drain openings are also underway in Kanyama constituency through the assistance of Zambia National Service equipment, and some drainage works are underway in Chawama Constituency through the performance contractor.

The council has also engaged the Road Development Agency to ensure that the contractor working on the L400 roads moves on site to work on the side drains on the newly paved roads that had resulted in floods with the first rains. Works on the Bombay and Mazyopa Drainage system, being implemented through the Millennium Challenge Account, have continued smoothly, and once fully completed, they will greatly reduce floods in many areas in Lusaka. The council has also engaged Polytechnology, a Chinese company, to execute an Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract and to work on the remaining primary outfalls as well as the CBD. The council has also started receiving technical assistance in Drainage and Municipal Waste Management by Seureca, a company engaged by MCA Zambia.

The President has urged residents to take care of the drains that have been constructed or are being constructed and to avoid indiscriminate dumping of waste. He called upon all residents in Lusaka to help the city council by guarding the infrastructure jealously and to issue citizen arrest to anyone dumping waste in undesignated places. With the forecast of heavy rains from January to March 2023, the local authority will need the concerted efforts and involvement of all citizens to help mitigate the anticipated floods.

The President has called for urgent measures to address the flood situation in Lusaka and has emphasized the need for proper city planning, the redesigning of the drainage system, and the relocation of people to safer areas. He has urged residents to play their part in mitigating the impact of the heavy rains by avoiding the indiscriminate disposal of waste and taking care of the city’s infrastructure.

23 COMMENTS

  1. We have these problems since independence with explanations ranging from Lusaka is built on lime stone which doesn’t absorb water to flat land scape. Relocating won’t be a solution if the given excuses are true. A solution lies in the improvement of drainage like establishing underground tunnels connected multiple surface drains. If you can’t do it just come to Mopani and ask for mining experts who are able to meet this challenge.

  2. Your attempts at environmental awareness will be furtile with out introducing a subject at primary school……….

    To teach the people from primary school about garbage disposal, recycling , clean water , deforestation and illegal building without planning permission.

    And generally following GRZ guidelines……..

    Without such a subject………

    Orderliness shall remain nothing but a fleeting illusion, to be desired , but never attained………….

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  3. This isn’t a new problem. The worst floods in recent history were the Kanyama Disaster in which UNIP politicians stole the money allocated to deal with the problem. Later Yankees advised that dams be dug is some areas to store water and they’re the ditches you see like Blue Water dam. Isn’t embarrassing that Kamwala is flooded despite the MCC US$355M drainage? It won’t be solved as long as it’s driven by politicians and Yankees. Give chance to local engineers this time around

  4. Just a photo opportunity for some people. Same old story…not serious and not committed. People vote for you to solve these type of problems not galavanting everyday like a headless chicken.

    • Yours is an uninformed comment. If the public ask for a photo opportunity, no sensible elected leader would refuse. Part of the solution is perhaps to impose a one-off big tax on property owners to raise money to pay for civil works to drain storm waters away. It’s unfair to let government bear the cost as this imposes taxes on people who do not live in flooded areas. Local people ought to pay for solutions to local problems.

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    • How is it unfair to have government resolve infrastructure related issues? What planet are you on? Do you think people have a choice when it comes to paying taxes? This government knew about the floods coming but instead they focused on the rhetoric of no water in Kariba due to climate change. How about diverting all this water into reservoirs which would feed the Kariba dam during the dry season? Do you expect private citizens to take it upon themselves to resolve these issues? How come we find money at short notice to fund the presidents trips but when it comes to real issues, money has to be found?

    • @FutureZed. Well put! in fact he should have gone to those flooded areas where houses are almost entirely submerged and kids are drowning. Not somewhere where his motorcade can easily drive through and he can even pose for photos. What a useless pwaaaz

    • Do you know why the president is advising citizen arrests? Because Kajoba cant deliver. and HH knows it. Does he know the effort required for a citizen’s arrest which UPND couldnt do when in opposition? We pay taxes for Police to work.

    • @Gunner that just shows lack of purpose. In everything we do as humans we prioritise. He should know the main thing he came to do here. If people are asking for selfies with you tell them this is not the time. Otherwise you are just showing you are easily distracted and cant focus.

  5. Lusaka needs replanting. Period. The who city needs to be relocated. The way that things have just been build without any planning, these are the results. Anyone can just decide to subdivide land with no consideration for drainage, sewer etc. And people just drill boreholes anyhow. Lusaka is like one big shanty compound.
    People can even build on a railroad! Cadres can just grab land as they see fit.

  6. Urgent measures can only be short-term. The real solution is long-term and will be very expensive. Local government collapsed under Kenneth Kaunda and no government since then has been able to reverse the rot. We have not even seen the worst or last of it.

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    • We can do it but the problem is with your politicians who want to get the credit and as such will never allow us to show our skills and ideas. They are the I DID IT type.

    • The UNIP government is long gone, its main purpose was to liberate Zambia. The Zambian people are proud and free because of that. UPND was voted into government with the expectation of progressing the country forward and not comparing with previous administrations. Show us your solutions not just pointing fingers in order to buy time. People expect results not just rhetoric.

    • The UPND government is begging the public to stop littering instead of imposing fines on those who litter. I think HH is wasting this crisis.

  7. He saw a photo opportunity and went for it. As I recover from ncwala hangover, I don’t want to be disturbed. Leave me alone. Enough with the hh posts.

  8. Could what is happening in the city of Lusaka (floods,litter,waste, filthy ) a result of Local authority slumbering? The product of work we do could speak and accuse us of what we put in.

  9. Its all the fault of PF government building roads without drainage system in place. As a matter of fact, all roads specifications had a provision for drainage for water to avoid floods. However, PF regime with “Inchekeleko* syndrome which is typical corruption the budge of PF regime, connived with contractors to do away with drainages when constructing roads, bribe site engineers and issue fake certificates for a poorly done road to receive payments. That is what PF has left behind. Bizzaire, they want PF again for more floods. “Aikona man”

  10. What a country! So the Lusaka City Council can only work if the president urges it to take immediate action to address the flood situation in the city?

  11. Ba LT you have censored the story. A group of residents from flooded homes followed HH but they were directed to the DMMU headquarters to go and ask for assistance. Police teargassed them and arrested Simataa their councillor

  12. This has been the same mentality of leadership quality where they only act on something when it goes wrong is absurd, the drainage system problem has been going on for a long time, especially in Lusaka, the problem I see here is again the mentality of some of the leadership who only act on something when the damage has already been done should really stop!! it is the same situation with road accidents that has been happening every single day without any proper plan or reaction from the leaders who are responsible to ensure that the health and safety of the ppl are protected. Mind you, prevention is better than cure.

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