Rains expose Gweru’s poor drainage system

By Brenna Matendere

THE heavy rains that pounded the City of Gweru on Monday evening exposed a ticking time bomb of a malfunctioning drainage system that caused massive flooding in the central business district(CBD).

Pedestrians and motorists struggled to navigate their way as most streets were almost submerged in water.

“My vehicle was trapped by the waters as I tried to cross an intersection along Robert Mugabe Way after the engine stalled. It is now a cost for me to enlist services of a mechanic,” a motorist, John Bvunduru, who got stuck in the flash floods, said.

In the past, the council workers cleared the drains ahead of the rainy season, but this year, the exercise was not efficiently carried out.

Mayor Josiah Makombe said he would look into the matter and ensure that the challenge is urgently dealt with.

“One of the reasons that could have caused the drainage system to be blocked could have been garbage thrown into the system by some people, but as council, we are going to act fast so that our motorists and pedestrians are not inconvenienced,” he said.

“Ours is a city of progress and so we must protect that image. Our workers are going to be on the ground to try and clear the drainage system.”

Vendors have often been singled out as the chief culprits in littering the streets and clogging the drainage system.

Last year, the local authority launched an exercise to rid the city of vendors in the CBD, but the informal traders resisted the move, arguing that vending had become their way of living as the economy continues to shrink.

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