Council sits up after floods hit Lusaka

Floods in Lusaka's Kamwala trading area due to lack of drainage on January 19, 2016.

Mayor of Lusaka Wilson Kalumba says the council is building big drainages which will alleviate floods.

And Kalumba has encouraged cremation due to lack of space in the cemeteries. In the last one week, Lusaka has had massive floods in some residential areas and in the central business district.

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema on Thursday, January 19, 2017, observed that the floods were as a result of poor planning and urged government to be proactive in cholera prevention.

But featuring on Millennium Radio’s The Interview programme yesterday, January 19, 2017, Kalumba said the drainage system was being improved.

“In terms of what we are doing about the drainages there is a project which cost a lot of money of course, US$359 million with the support of American people through MCA, there are big drainages that are being holed. Of course they have started with the Bombay drainage, you see it by Evelyn Hone [College] there, running from Kamwala South to Mazyopa in Roma, there will be also another one in Mtendere and in Kanyama. These are expected to alleviate our problems significantly, it’s a long term project I think [it will finish by] 2018 thus when the project is ending and then we have to think of secondary drains that will take the water into these big drainages,” Kalumba said.

He appealed to residents to be responsible in their garbage disposal.

“We also know that the residents themselves are responsible for the blockage of the drainages in the city so if we have a downfall we are likely to see floods. People should start thinking about how they throw garbage because if the garbage is thrown anyhow, this garbage gets into our drainages and our drainages get blocked. Yes the council needs to do something about it, but the residents also need to be responsible for the garbage, don’t just throw garbage in the drainages, and this is happening in all the compounds and in the CBD. So it’s a combination of the efforts of everyone, the residents and the council,” Kalumba said.

He noted that Lusaka was a flood prone city.

“What we shouldn’t forget is that the weather authorities warned us that this year we are going to receive above normal rainfall. So what that means is that we are going to have a lot of water and we also know that Lusaka sits on a flat plateau and the topology is that it’s easier to get the floods, the water cannot sink through quickly,” Kalumba explained.

And Kalumba encouraged cremation.

“The truth of the matter is that perhaps people should start thinking about how their remains will be dealt with and there are many options, cremation is one of them. But government will soon secure other land to be a designated burial site,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kalimba said he would not tolerate corruption in land administration.

“What I have pledged is we are not going to allow corruption. I want to emphasis accountability and regular reporting to the public so that the public can ask the questions on what they are seeing in our reports. Yes, we have heard about corruption, you call it rampant but I should say is if it happened it was in the past” said Kalumba.

Stella Goma

About Stella Goma

Stella Goma is a Zambian journalist with a passion for a democratic society and transparency in governance.
Email: stella [at] diggers [dot] news

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