Council urges residents to open weep holes to prevent flash floods

Bulawayo City Council Chamber Secretary Sikhangele Zhou has appealed to residents to open weep holes in their precast perimeter walls to prevent flash floods during the upcoming rainy season.

Weep holes are designed to allow accumulated water to drain away.

According to the Roads Act (Chapter 13:18) under Part V111, landowners, occupiers, or users are obligated to take all reasonable measures to ensure that water is not obstructed or impeded from draining into, under, or through their land from a public road.

Addressing the handover ceremony of four fire tenders recently, Zhou explained that flash floods are caused by the obstruction of water flow due to closed perimeter walls.

“We remain hopeful that the rains will soon arrive, and we therefore urge residents to open weep holes in their perimeter walls so that we do not experience flash floods caused by a lack of water flow due to blocked perimeter walls,” she stated.

Zhou emphasised that the fire brigade will be forced to open weep holes at the property owner’s expense if called upon to do so in an emergency.

“Let us avoid putting unnecessary strain on city services by addressing matters that we can control. While it will be at your expense if we have to open a weep hole in an emergency, we cannot guarantee that we will do so in a manner that will protect your wall. Our primary focus will be to open a weep hole,” she clarified.

“Whether your precast wall collapses or not will be your responsibility. Therefore, open your precast wall before we intervene. We will be using a digger to open the weep hole,” she added.

Zhou reiterated that residents cannot prevent the natural flow of water.

“We urge residents to open weep holes. Precast walls are designed with holes, but residents often close them. We urge you to open those holes. Do not let your dislike for your neighbors prevent you from allowing water to flow into your yard. Water follows its natural course, and there is nothing you can do to stop it from flowing. Therefore, let us open weep holes so that if the rains arrive, we do not experience flash floods,” she concluded.

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