Some houses in Bulawayo’s Old Pumula Suburb were damaged by heavy rains that pounded on various parts of Bulawayo Sunday where ‘unfortunate’ incidents of urban flooding occurred.
Some of the flooding is due to poor storm drains and certain precast walls that have no weep holes to allow the flow or drainage of water from yards.
One house at Old Pumula in particular was affected terribly, as the flooding managed to seep inside, destroying property and food.
In an interview with CITE, resident chairperson of Old Pumula, Umthwakazi Residents Association, Felix Ndebele, confirmed the situation, saying three families renting in the house needed assistance with an assortment of goods and food.
“Some houses were unfortunately flooded by the rains but especially one house received the most impact. The house was surrounded by dura walls that aided the flooding. I had to ask the neighbours to make weep holes in their dura walls so that water flows out,” he said.
“Three different families, which have a total of five children among them, were renting in the house and needed some food assistance since their groceries including a mealie meal was destroyed. One of the families had to discard sponges they used for sleeping as they were heavily soaked and tore. They managed to recover some property such as speakers.”
Ndebele said well-wishers who wished to assist the families could do so by dropping items of where they stay in house number 6269 in Old Pumula.
“The house is just opposite mine and we are ready to assist,” he said.
The Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) added its voice to the matter and called urban authorities, including Bulawayo City Council, to prioritise urban resilient climate change infrastructure by improving the city’s storm drains in order to reduce people’s vulnerability to storms.
“MIHR received and witnessed unfortunate incidents of urban flooding in some parts of Pumula area. MIHR therefore urges Bulawayo residents to be responsible and make sure there is an opening of weep holes to minimise flooding in the communities,” said the “human rights oriented organisation.
MIHR also urges investment in the construction and maintenance of storm drains in the City of Bulawayo.
“Residents can also organise themselves and offer their services to maintain local storm drains. Local leaders also need to urge residents to desist from polluting storm drains in order to prevent blockages,” urged the organisation.