The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) says it mandatory for residents whose properties have precast walls to open weep walls, to allow water to flow and those who defy the order will pay hefty fines.
A survey carried out by Habakkuk Trust on the backdrop of flash floods that were experienced in the city on February 23 revealed that residents from Sizinda lost valuable property such as beds, kitchen appliances and stationery for children.
Speaking during a town hall meeting on water drainage at Tshabalala hall on Wednesday, BCC Designs and Planning Engineer Howard Sibanda said the council has come up with a policy that will see residents being fined for not opening weep holes.
“BCC is planning to deal with the challenge of weep holes, so we came up with the idea two years ago and advertised that residents who do not open weep holes will be fined according to levels,” said Engineer Sibanda.
“The fines were flighted last week and they range from level one to level six which is ZWL$6 000. The council has made this law for people who do not want to open weep holes, this means that the council will bring its own people to open the weep holes with or without your approval and then make you pay a fine of ZWL$6 000.”
Sibanda added that they have been doing awareness campaigns but the residents have not been responsive.
“We tried to advertise the opening of weep holes to residents, through the councillors fora since 2017, in some areas the response is commendable but in other areas, people were not cooperating,” said Sibanda.
“The rains that we received this year were lower than what we usually get according to meteorologists it was about 312 millimetres, so what causes this runoff is that we do not allow water to infiltrate to the ground or flow because we now all have precast walls which causes flooding in our houses.”
He added that residents should look into investing in storm drainages when they receive their Ward Retention Funds to avoid suffering from flash floods and to also improving water runoff from roads.
“Council introduced the ward retention program when residents pay their rates 3 percent of what is paid by residents can be used to construct storm drainages in their areas.”