Editor's Comment

Let us prepare for flash floods

THE rainy season is back with us once again.
From the forecast given by the meteorological department, there are signs that Zambia will experience another fair share of the rains that may probably lead to another bumper harvest.
The farmer eagerly anticipates good rains so that he puts his hand to the plough, sows his seed and hopes to gather a rich harvest.
But we all know the myriad of challenges that come with the rainy season and some of them can be prevented to save the much-needed resources.
The season brings with it challenges which can lead to outbreak of water-borne diseases like cholera, inaccessibility of some areas due to bad roads and sometimes flooding.  This is what forms our focus today.
Already, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has warned that 14 districts are likely to face flash floods because of the good rainfall the country expects to receive this season.
The number, itself, should raise one’s eyebrows because evidently thousands of people could be seriously affected when their areas get flooded.
The consequence of the floods may also impact negatively on their livelihoods as most of them probably depend on agriculture and their crops could be destroyed by the flood waters.
It is not too late to relocate those who are in the way of the floods so that they remain safe when the flood waters rise.
We say so because to merely say the provincial and district committees are ready to respond is only taking action after disaster has already struck.
Surely should we sit in the way of danger and wait for it when we could actually have taken preventive measures that will remedy a situation once and for all?
We know that this is not the only time that the flash floods will occur because as long as seasons come and go, we should always anticipate such challenges and they are better tackled before they get out of hand.
We take cognizance of the confidence by the DMMU that it is ready to respond to any flooding when it occurs.
While we commend them, we also advise that help should not come when the damage has already been done, otherwise that help will be meaningless.
Assistance is best appreciated when it is aimed at thwarting any damage to a situation and we can only hope this is the case with the issue at hand.
We further urge local authorities across the country to prevent or curb flooding in flood-prone residential areas.
In Lusaka, for instance, a few years ago, we saw some areas like Kabwata, Kamwala South and others get flooded, a situation the DMMU now says is caused by the lack of drainages and blocked drainages.
We urge the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to ensure the drainages are worked on before the rains set in so that the water will not collect in residential areas and cause damage to property.
But as for Kanyama, we all know that flooding there has become a perennial challenge.  The DMMU must come in to assist the LCC bring it to an end.
As long as the country experiences a fair share of the rains, Kanyama is sure to get flooded and we want to believe this is due to the type of soil on which the township sits.
It is, therefore, imperative that the flooding in Kanyama is brought to an end so that the residents enjoy a decent life during the rainy season.
We only hope all the measures put in place will avert disaster.

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