THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has urged people to avoid building on wetlands and low-lying areas to reduce the effects of flooding in the country.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In an interview with our sister paper Southern Eye yesterday, EMA spokesperson Steady Kangata said it was disheartening to note that thousands of dollars worth of properties was destroyed due to flooding.
Kangata said people should avoid wetlands and residing in low-lying areas as this could lead to drowning during the rainy season. He said floods were a natural phenomenon and people should use natural ways of controlling them.
“We should take care of wetlands and not tamper with them because they help reduce the effects of floods. Surface runoff is reduced in wetlands, but now people have destroyed them by building settlements there.
“People should not stay near dams or rivers and those already there should be relocated to avoid unnecessary loss of property and even lives. In urban set-ups, councils should ensure that the drainage system is in good condition by keeping the environment clean,” Kangata said.
He said people should also avoid deforestation as it contributed to flooding. Several homesteads in Tsholotsho and Masvingo succumbed to excessive moisture and collapsed leaving a number of families homeless in the past few days.