- Title: ZAMBIA: Eight people die in heavy Zambian floods due to poor drainage
- Date: 10th February 2010
- Summary: OPEN VAN CARRYING HOUSEHOLD GOODS VEHICLES DRIVE ON ROAD SUBMERGED BY FLOOD WATER (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHARLES SHAWA, LUSAKA PROVINCE MINISTER, SAYING: "As a long term measure, Lusaka needs serious drainage. We need serious drainage way all over. That is the only solution. If we don't do that we will continue every year to have these problems." WOMAN WALKING IN RAIN WATER OUTSIDE HOUSE WOMAN SITTING OUTSIDE HOUSE SURROUNDED BY RAIN WATER VARIOUS OF PRISONERS DIGGING DRAINAGE
- Embargoed: 26th February 2010 20:51
- Location: Zambia
- Country: Zambia
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Reuters ID: LVACNW54OB34JDRI3K4KRUVMPWHV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: At least eight people have died in recent flooding caused by heavy rains in the Zambian capital, Lusaka.
Several of the squatter settlements in the city have been submerged as a result of more than a week of torrential rains.
The capital city is notorious for its poor drainage system, which has resulted in floodwater stagnating.
Most flood-affected areas are overcrowded and lack basic services such as water and sanitation facilities. Latrine pits have collapsed, mixing rain water and sewage.
Fourteen people are being treated for cholera following the floods.
The rising water levels have also brought about an increase in mosquitoes, which increase the risk of malaria spreading.
The government says the problem of flooding in most squatter settlements is a result of the proliferation of unplanned settlements and a rise in the local urban population.
Lusaka Province Minister, Charles Shawa says the prevailing conditions in the Lusaka settlements require urgent attention. He said unauthorised house building was partly to blame.
"To me it's a disaster because some of the houses are submerged in water but also this comes with people who just build anywhere without getting advice from the council. How do you build a house in a quarry where people have been getting stones and this is what you expect at the end of the day. But this is a disaster, we have to work hard as government."
Shawa says creating a proper drainage system is the long term solution to the issue of flooding in Lusaka, a problem which is now perennial.
"As a long term measure, Lusaka needs serious drainage. We need serious drainage way all over. That is the only solution. If we don't do that we will continue every year to have these problems," he told Reuters.
Two years ago, heavy rains in Zambia destroyed crops, infrastructure such as bridges and caused the displacement of thousands of people, especially in the southern part of the country.
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