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IN 2008, the Bachele stretch was damaged by floods and some culverts were washed away.

Floods prevention is collective duty

IT HAS been raining cats and dogs over the past couple of days in Lusaka and many other parts of the country.On Wednesday, Lusaka experienced torrential rainfall which felled trees, flooded roads and several houses, and left a serious trail of destruction to personal and public property.After knocking off from work,some people found their homes flooded, with furniture, and other household goods submerged.While it is a blessing that we have good rains, particularly this month, the flooding aspect of it has ignited worries as they pose serious threats of outbreaks of waterborne diseases like cholera and dysentery.In Lusaka and other urban set-ups, floods have become a perennial occurrence not only due to ineptness of local authorities to do their job, but also the residents’ bad attitude to matters of sanitation and hygiene.Although there is generally poor infrastructure in cities and towns for smooth flow of rainwater, the little available structures are usually clogged with all sorts of refuse.Most residents find it normal to throw litter anywhere and anyhow – through windows of minibuses and even personal vehicles – resulting in blocked drainages.The attitude of some people is so bad that even when there is a rubbish bin within their reach, they still throw anything which happens to be in their hands anywhere.There are by-laws on irresponsible disposal of waste
which, unfortunately due to some reason, our local authorities do not enforce the way they should.In Lusaka, the American people have been gracious enough to put their monies together to help maintain a drainage system called Bombay through the Millennium Challenge Compact.But soon after the Bombay drainage is cleared of blockages,Lusaka residents again start throwing all manner of garbage in the massive drainage, clogging it yet again.Other than the reckless disposal of litter in our cities and towns, there is the historical problem of free-for-all manner of building houses in townships and peri-urban settlements.People just wake up in the morning and start putting up structures without involving the planning department in their respective councils.The consequence of these haphazard constructions is that people put up different kinds of structures on water pipes, under high-voltage electricity poles,and even on railway lines as has been the case in Lusaka and the Copperbelt.So, whenever it is rainy season,floods are imminent because of unplanned construction of houses
and other structures, coupled with the bad attitude of some residents who dispose of refuse indiscriminately.Although garbage collection in townships and other areas is the mandate of local authorities,people equally have the responsibility of ensuring that their areas of residence are kept clean with good drainages. In fact, there are cases where residents of particular localities
meet, discuss, and choose an appropriate day when they work together to unblock drainages to prevent flooding.This is a culture which should be inculcated in every patriotic Zambian so that together we can keep flooding or water-logging in our country at bay.People should not just sit and watch drainages getting blocked and wait for council workers to come and unblock them, but should take it upon themselves to do the job.Local authority workers cannot always be there to clear blocked drainages in your townships because they are overwhelmed with so many other duties.Keeping drainages functional is no longer the sole mandate of councils. It has now become a collective responsibility.