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BCC identifies properties in floodplains

BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has identified three properties in the Harrisville area, which are situated along a watercourse making them vulnerable to flooding.

The town planning, housing and community department is still consulting on the course of action to be taken.

Several cities and towns across the country are battling illegal occupation of wetlands, where land barons are parcelling out land for residential purposes.

Latest council minutes reveal that the acting director of engineering services Sikhumbuzo Ncube recently reported that a site inspection was carried out in Harrisville by a team from engineering services (roads) and financial services to identify properties prone to flooding.

“It was noted that property on No 15 Hollyhock Close was located on the watercourse and the properties on either side of No 15 were on low-lying ground within the floodplain. The geographical location for number 15 made it prone to flooding,” the minutes read in part.

“It was observed that the two properties Nos 14 and 16 had their floor slabs raised to levels that were above normal, 150mm above ground level. This made the properties on 14 and 16 less susceptible to flooding.”

Council also noted that within No15 Hollyhock Close, there was a storm water drain 800mm wide and 600mm deep lined trapezoidal drain along its northern boundary which served to dissipate storm water from Hollyhock Close, through an undeveloped open space on the Western side of the afore-mentioned stand, across Jungle Road and into a stream running adjacent to Jungle Road.

“Evidence of flooding was recorded to have occurred in March 2018, January 2021 and February 2022. In March 2018, the flooding was severe to the extent of the occupant submitting a public liability claim which was settled,” the minutes read.

“Furthermore it had been observed that when an intense storm hit the area, the drain outlet also got flooded such that instead of the water draining away it built backwards further causing flooding of the property.”

Houses in areas such as Sizinda, Cowdray Park and Pumula South, among others were seriously affected by flooding during the past rainy season due to blocked water drains.

Follow Silas on Twitter @silasnkala

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