Coltart’s message to Bulawayo: Stop littering, stop flooding

Bulawayo Mayor David Coltart urged residents at a Ward 22 feedback meeting to take proactive steps to prevent flooding during the rainy season.

He emphasised the importance of maintaining clean premises and clearing drainage systems.

A resident representative named Mr Masuku revealed that a section of the ward faces drainage issues, particularly during the rainy season. “Water flows directly into houses due to the lack of a drainage system,” Masuku explained. He added that despite informing previous councillors, no assistance was received.

However, Masuku mentioned being told the affected houses are not officially recognised on the council plan. “They claim the drains are also unknown because the houses aren’t on the plan, yet they expect residents to pay rates,” he said.

Another resident, Rabson Mpofu from Nketa 6, expressed concern about some residents failing to open weep holes in precast walls, hindering water flow and causing flooding. “We try to engage those residents, but they don’t cooperate,” Mpofu lamented.

Ward 22 Councillor Mmeli Moyo acknowledged the flooding issues caused by poor drainage. He explained that due to the ward’s recent expansion, the existing community employees are insufficient to clear all the necessary drains.

“We managed to complete around 75% of trench clearing, focusing on main roads, schools, and shopping centres, but unfortunately, the contract ended before reaching individual households,” Moyo elaborated.

Mayor Coltart emphasized the city-wide nature of the drainage problem and stressed the need for a community-driven approach, similar to anti-littering efforts. “Just like with dumping litter, if everyone keeps their surroundings clean, and young people organise to dig drains, we can make a difference,” Coltart asserted. “We might not be able to offer monetary compensation, but the spirit of community ubuntu and self-reliance is crucial.”

He assured residents that the local authority would provide machinery for the worst-affected areas.

Coltart reiterated the importance of individual responsibility. “Please focus on keeping your houses and their surroundings clean, and prioritize clearing your drains. Often, blocked drains due to plastic debris hinder proper water flow. Start within your own property, and together, we can overcome this challenge.”

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