MENACE OF LUSAKA FLOODING

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THE perennial flooding that occurs in Lusaka each time it rains does not only cause damage and disruption to services, it can also lead to illnesses and injuries.

Floodwater in our capital city can disguise many dangerous obstacles, like debris and uncovered manholes that can cause someone to fall in and sustain injuries.

Apart from that, flood water is a hazard to health and extremely dangerous when moving whether for human beings or motor vehicles.

Take Kanyama Compound for instance which is said to be sitting on impermeable rock which does not allow water to sip through thereby furthering flooding levels.

When this happens, pit latrines get flooded discharging human faeces which sometimes find its way into shallow wells where people draw water for domestic use oblivious of its unsafe state.

This picture unfortunately is true in many sprawling Lusaka’s compounds where roads and surroundings become impassable due to flooding.

With mountains of uncollected garbage which has become a biggest challenge to our Lusaka City Council, the situation becomes even more precarious.

Sometimes children swim in this collected water with0ut a hint of the dangers that lurk in it. Some have been swept away to their deaths by flooding waters.

While we must admit that we are going to have to live with flooding because it is obviously here to stay, it won’t do anyone good to fold arms and let flooding to occur before taking action.

We think for starters, the local authority should come up with improved flood warning systems, giving people more time to take action during inundating floods, potentially to save lives and properties.

Of course some flooding occurs due to blocked drainages after reckless residents have thrown debris in them without realizing the trouble they are creating for themselves, especially during rain seasons.

Since there appears to be no lasting solutions to flooding in Lusaka, the local authority might consider introducing temporary barriers that can also be added to permanent flood defences, such as raised embankments to increase the level of protection.

As the threat and frequency of flood risk increases and becomes a permanent feature for Lusaka, we think the use of reactive flood defence has to be the only realistic long-term solution.

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