Saturday, June 22, 2024

New dawn should come up with a floods master plan deal with floods

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By Benedict Tembo

On Sunday, President Hakainde Hichilema dedicated part of his schedule to a fact-finding mission to some flood-hit areas of the capital Lusaka. President Hichilema toured two places in Kabwata Constituency, two points in Chawama Constituency, Kanyama Constituency and part of Mateto Constituency

The tour gave the Head of State the opportunity to appreciate the magnitude of the problem and hopefully prevail on bureaucrats to interrogate the existing policy framework and revamp it in order to prevent the occurrences. It also gave the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) and the defence chiefs an appreciation of what they are up against in terms of disaster response.

Leading DMMU and the defence chiefs was a symbol of solidarity with the victims of the floods. The tour from the highest office in the land obviously gives victims hope and comfort of being cared for. It should however not end at the reactive rescue measures put in for them but should be used as ambassadors in the drive of the required mitigatory measures of decisively dealing with the flood menace.

There’s no better time for a leader to show empathy to the people he is leading than when they are going through a difficult time like this one.

That is leadership exhibited by the Republican President. It is gestures like these that give people hope that there is a possible solution.

Solutions are multi-faceted and include:

  • Overhaul of current country and town planning regulations
  • Decisively dealing with the anarchy prevailing in land management and political interference.
  • Prevailing over land management authorities to re-assume their rightful oversight roles and take them seriously
  • Engaging different professional fraternities in the crafting of long term solutions
  • Evoking a drive to instill mindset change in the citizenry to be part of the required change and not to be the cause or perpuators of the flood challenges – like responsible building practices, proper solid waste disposal, etc.

The major opportunity going forward is for our leaders to engage our engineers and other experts to come up with a permanent solution to this problem.

There is need for a political will to invest huge amounts of funds to find apermanent solution to this perennial problem.
Apart from offering material relief by DMMU, this flooding shall never end if we do not provide adequate drainage system for the city such as the Bombay Drain. We have adequate computer based tools to help predict accurately the amount of water expected and must be removed each year. We are even able to predict the return period of floods.

Every road constructed must have a drain on the side. But look at Chalala, Kamwala South, Kanyama, Garden House, Chawama areas and many more. They are sitting on very flat land, yet no drains provided to take away the water. The entire Tokyo Way (Ring Road) has no drainage system. So, what do we expect?

A few roads provided with some tiny inadequate drains are being stuffed with rubbish and blocked. If we don’t act now, posterity will definitely judge us harshly but if we do, we shall leave a legacy that they people will always remember.

10 COMMENTS

  1. The only solution is compulsory purchase orders to move households and build drainage………….either

    Underground or open drainages………….

    Then you have the problem of indiscriminate garbage disposal blocking drainage………

    Again this comes back to the need to educate primary school children about environmental awareness……….

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  2. New Dawn this New Dawn this what nonsense. Why not just say Zambian Government. Rubbish. Are they going to use Upnd money or money from my taxes Rubbish.

  3. The problem is that undeveloped land in the city areas is given to individuals. Individuals have no capacity to deal with city planning, building roads, drainage systems, garbage collection, local clinics etc.
    The Council and Ministry of lands should first partner with established property developers to build residential areas. Then the units (low cost or high cost) can later be sold to individuals.
    The PF policy of giving land to individuals(mostly cadres) has destroyed the city .
    Most of lusaka actually looks like a slum.

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  4. Well thought out article “hats off” !!. Time for joined up thinking. i.e involve all relevant stake holders and professionals. A good case for the engineering council of Zambia. But alas, they never extol their professional acumen when it matters. They remain as inconspicuous and mute as ever. A leaf from LAZ I suppose.

    “I rest my case”

  5. I wonder if govt will also have the courage restrict constryction if biundary walls which restrict watersteve flow and contribute to the flooding

  6. Why shoulf UPND come up with those plans of yours? You mean to tell me that your own mother or father cant come up with your foolish flood plans of yours?

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