Zimbabwe’s Department of Civil Protection has identified alternative accommodation for residents of Harare’s Budiriro suburb, whose houses are constantly being hit by flash floods.
The affected area is located on a wetland and is notorious for flooding, crocodiles and snakes during the rainy season. Director of the Department of Civil Protection (DCP) Nathan Nkomo said residents are set to be evacuated from their uninhabitable area.
“Right now we are evacuating the affected people in Budiriro to the usual training centre, which we improvised as our evacuation centre. The government has taken a leading role by procuring what is required to make the centre operational.”
The department said it is working on a permanent plan to relocate the affected residents working with the government through its committee on dysfunctional, irregular and illegal settlements.
The initial stage of the plan will see part of the group of evacuees, who are temporarily being accommodated at one of the emergency facilities in Budiriro, being relocated permanently to blocks of flats under construction in Dzivarasekwa, while an alternative solution for the remaining group is still being devised.
“Part of the group will be accommodated at some flats in Dzivarasekwa extension. The rest of the group we will have to find some alternative pieces of land where they can be permanently relocated,” Nkomo said.
The Dzivarasekwa flats programme is part of the Zimbabwean government’s strategy to move vertically in terms of housing construction, since flats accommodate more people whilst using less land, which helps to address the problem of land scarcity that has driven people to settle on wetlands.