Government, through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), has decided to mobilise all fire trucks in Lusaka Province to pump out water from flooded areas like Kanyama.
Speaking to journalists after touring Kanyama alongside Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo, Gender Minister Elizabeth Phiri, DMMU National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe and Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa, Monday, Minister in the Office of the Vice-President Olipa Phiri said all fire trucks in Lusaka districts would be used to pump out the water.
“As DMMU, what we want to see is that we have to retrieve these fire tenders from these other districts so that at the end of the day, if all of them are here, I think within a day or two, the water will be out of the houses of the vulnerable,” Phiri said.
“We are going to provide some relief food to the affected households and we are preparing for that food, by the end of the day today or tomorrow morning, they will start recovering.”
Asked what the affected number of people was, Phiri said; “people are still on the ground collecting data. Immediately we receive the data, then we will come on board.”
And Elizabeth, who is also Kanyama PF member of parliament, has asked the Lusaka City Council to be proactive so that floods can be a thing of the past.
“I want to thank government for how it has responded, I can see a coordinated team that has come here from different offices to see to it that the Kanyama water disaster should be a thing of the past. Minister, what you have seen is just a sample, Kanyama waters are all over. This area, in Garden House, you haven’t yet sampled but my encouraging words to the people that are on the ground is that you are doing your best, you are trying but you also have to identify places which are still water logged. And the water disaster is something which has been there year in, year out and my appeal to Lusaka City Council is to up their game because this is the thing that we would have found a lasting solution by now. But because we wait until we have a calamity for us to be seen working. If we can up our game before the onset of the rains, I believe this cannot be something that can be repeating itself all the time that we have a rainy season. But we thank the hardworking government that is so caring that it has come to our aid,” said Elizabeth.
Meanwhile, according to Sampa, floods in the area were manmade as contractors of Road 55, AVIC and RDA, put small caveats and water can’t flow across, creating a “semi swimming pool situation”.
Sampa also attributed the floods to debris thrown and collected in the drainage systems and some Illegal structures built along the natural drainage pathways in the area.