There has been an outcry by Blantyre City residents and the business community who have called on the council to rework on the city’s drainage system especially the central business districts (CDB) of Blantyre and Limbe.
The Nation has observed that every time the city receives heavy rains roads easily get flooded and become impassable.
Speaking in an interview, one of the shop owners in Blantyre CBD Falguni Popat who runs KTC Hardware and General Dealers together with her husband said their shop was flooded with water that rose several centimeters damaging goods after hours of downpour on Sunday afternoon.
“We have lost goods worth millions such as lime, cement and other hardware equipment all got soaked in water,” said Popat who blamed the council for the poor drainage system.
The rain turned most roads impassable as motorists found it hard to drive due to large amounts of surface water on the roads.
Haile Selassie Road in Blantyre’s CDB, the newly-constructed stretch of the Masauko Chipembere Highway between Yiannakis Roundabout and Standard Bank were some of the affected roads.
Gwaza Mphepo who works for Liz text suppliers in Blantyre said they have not yet opened the shop since the Sunday downpour as they were still pumping out the water.
“They really have to do something, the situation is bad and the worst thing is that the problem has been there for years now,” said Mphepo.
Mphepo however, blamed the general public for turning the drainage systems into rubbish pits leading to blockage.
Blantyre City Council Public Relations Manager Anthony Kasunda defended the drainage system saying there is nothing wrong with it.
“I know you have asked because of the flooding of the roads on Sunday. That was a storm. During this time of the year, the drainage is clogged with a lot of things that are washed by water considering the terrain in our City. Our people are on the ground as we normally do to clear the drainage for easy passage of water,” assured Kasunda ruling out any blame to contractors.
Last month the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) forecast continued heavy rains characterized by lightning, thunder and strong winds in most parts of the country.
The department said the rains were due to a tropical depression (very deep low pressure area) located north of Quelimane in Mozambique in association with the rain bearing systems, the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ICTZ) and Congo Air Mass.