Harare Goes Under Water

In a dire situation that has tested Harare’s drainage system, flash flooding has left 59 households in Budiriro 5B Extension and Kuwadzana paddocks area uninhabitable. The Marimba River, swollen by ongoing rains, has wreaked havoc in the western half of Harare, exposing a critical vulnerability in the city’s ability to protect its residents.

One Budiriro house was extensively damaged, and numerous families have lost essential belongings, including food, utensils, blankets, furniture, and clothes due to the severe flooding. Roads leading in and out of Budiriro are submerged, compelling residents to navigate through water, prompting the evacuation of affected individuals to camps for safety.

This crisis follows the tragic death of a six-year-old girl swept away by the Marimba River just a week prior. The deteriorating situation has ignited frustration among residents, with Mr Pasipanodya Nyamayaro, a representative, blaming the Harare City Council for failing to address the recurring flooding issue.

Residents are now calling for the allocation of new, flood-resistant land to avoid yearly displacement. The City Council cites resource limitations as the reason for their inaction. Seeking solutions, residents have enlisted independent engineers, considering civil engineering projects to divert the river’s flow.

The flood crisis reflects a setback to the 1960s, exposing a regression in the country’s ability to handle natural disasters. The plea for government intervention and long-term solutions is urgent as the community grapples with the impact of continuous flooding.

Harare City Council’s response has been criticized, with appeals for funds to address the critical drainage and infrastructure needs falling on deaf ears. Residents are not only facing material losses but also the heartbreaking reality of losing lives annually.

In a statement, Mr Gabriel Masvora, Local Government and Public Works Ministry communications director, acknowledged the extensive damage caused by the flash floods. Evacuation centers have been set up, and relief efforts are underway, but the scale of the crisis demands a comprehensive, strategic approach.

As the affected households await assistance, the city’s residents are left questioning the city’s preparedness for such disasters and highlighting the erosion of civilization in the face of inadequate infrastructure. The call for urgent government intervention and allocation of resources is paramount to prevent further loss of lives and property.


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