Bulawayo City Council in drainage awareness drive

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THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is raising awareness on the importance of drainage systems in the wake of flash floods that hit the city last Sunday and destroyed property in some high-density suburbs homes.

The Fire Brigade attributed the flooding of homes which occurred at the weekend to failure to open weep holes on the precast walls, preventing the free flow of water.

Bulawayo Town Clerk Christopher Dube said residents are obligated to ensure free flow of water through their properties.

“During the rainy season, BCC wishes to raise awareness that under Part VIII of the Roads Act (Chapter 13:18), owners occupiers or users of any land are obliged to take all reasonable steps to ensure that water is not prevented, obstructed or impeded from draining into, onto, under, or through their land from the public road,” Dube said.

He added that residents must also take all necessary steps to ensure that, soil or other material is prevented from flowing or falling onto a public road from their land.

Dube warned that in terms of the law, residents may also be liable if accidents occur as a result of water being prevented from draining off to a public road or through their land.
He also urged residents to comply with the obligations and with ensuring that all entrances over drains are adequate and allow the free flow of water for example, weep holes in property boundary walls, adequately culverted or piped.

“BCC may serve a notice under the Roads Act (Chapter 13:18) and or the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27) on the owners, occupiers, users of any land who do not comply with these requirements.

“It is an offence not to comply with such a notice or any town planning enforcement notice which if pursued through the courts may result in prosecutions and fines.

“Please further note that without any consent of BCC, it is an offence to scour, deepen, widen or fill in any existing drain or excavate any new drain within the boundary of a public road, interfere with or carry out any works which interfere with a bridge, culvert retaining wall, embankment or other structure providing lateral or other support for a public road,” he said, adding that residents should immediately call the fire brigade in the event of flooding.

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