Storm damages 50 homes as DMMU moves in


THE Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) on the Copperbelt has assured victims of Friday night heavy rainfall disaster in Kitwe which left several families without shelter, that it would provide the necessary support to the affected families.

DMMU Copperbelt regional coordinator Edwin Muyunda told the Daily Nation in an interview that experts were already on the ground to determine the extent of the damage.

“We are assuring all those affected and have nowhere to go that DMMU shall provide temporal accommodation, our experts are on the ground,” Mr. Muyunda said.

Mr. Muyunda said the unit was grieved with the incident, adding that it would do everything possible to assist families without shelter.

“We are deeply touched by the disaster of heavy rainfall in Kitwe which happened on Friday night, leaving over 50 residents in the cold; it’s very sad and as DMMU we are doing everything all we can to help the families,” he said.

Mr. Muyunda appealed to Copperbelt residents to adhere to certifications when constructing houses to avoid similar disasters in the future.

He observed that the province had continued to experience such disasters during the rainy season due to fragile structures.

“Our appeal to our residents is to be constructing houses according to certification. We know that most of those people are vulnerable but they should endeavour at least to stick to some basic construction to avoid such disasters in the future,” he said.

Mr. Muyunda also suggested that there was need for the unit to embark on a national sensitization programme to encourage citizens to construct durable houses in the future.

“I think as DMMU we have a lot to do, we should go out and sensitize people to construct durable houses in future, they can use local materials but they can still construct durable houses,” he said.

Meanwhile, a number of casual workers have been engaged by the Lusaka City Council to work on the city’s drainage system to avoid the flooding in some parts of the city.

Council public relations manager, Mulunda Habeenzu, says the process of unblocking and constructing concrete drainages in most of parts of Lusaka is currently underway.

Mr Habeenzu said the works on the poor drainage system have commenced in most parts of the city to avoid heavy floods before the rain seasons peaks.

He said it was the duty of the local authority to make sure that drainages were worked on to avoid floods in homes and public places which always raised health concerns such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery and diarrhoea.

Mr Habeenzu said it should be a personal responsibility of every citizen to make sure that litter was disposed of correctly in bins which have been placed in public places than throwing litter anyhow especially in drainages which resulted in blockages.

He added that it was saddening that members of the business community were indifferent to the flooding problems that confront them every year, adding that instead of assisting the council by clearing drainages they would rather wait until their shops and business premises were flooded for them to raise the alarm.