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Council warns residents on blocking weep holes

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has warned residents who refuse to open weep holes in their precast walls that they are flouting council by-laws.

A weep hole is designed to drain off accumulated water.

This comes at a time when some of part of the city were hit by flash floods resulting in some houses in suburbs such as Nketa, Nkulumane, Sizinda and Mzilikazi being flooded.  

In a statement, Bulawayo Town Clerk Christopher Dube said owners of the land are obliged to ensure that water is not prevented or obstructed from flowing freely during the rainy season.

“During the rainy season Bulawayo City Council wishes to raise public awareness that under part V111 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, into, under or through their land from public road,” said Dube.

The Town Clerk also warned that property owners will be liable if an accident occurs as a result of water being prevented from draining off.

“Owners, occupiers or users of any land may also be liable if accidents occur as a result of water being prevented from draining off a public road into, onto, under or through their land or water, soil or other material flowing or escaping from their land onto a public road”.

Dube added that residents should pay particular attention and make sure that all entrances over drainages are adequate and allow free flow of water.

“Particular attention should be taken to ensure compliance with these obligations and with ensuring that all entrances over drains are adequate and allow the free flow of water (e.g weep holes in property boundary walls, adequately culverted or piped), “ he said.

Dube said it is an offence not to comply with council by-laws which if pursued through the courts may result in prosecutions and fines.

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

 The Town Clerk added that it is a crime to deepen or widen any existing drain within the boundary of the city`s road infrastructure.

“Please further note that without the consent of Bulawayo City Council, 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 and interfere with a bridge, culvert, retaining wall, embankment or other structure providing lateral or other support for a public road.

“This does not apply to the ordinary maintenance of drains which the owner, occupier or user of any land is required to carry out to ensure water is not prevented from draining from the public road or to prevent water, soil or other material flowing or falling onto a public road,” he said.

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