For the past few days, it has been raining in many parts of the country and as is the unfortunate norm, whenever it rains, many areas including roads flood and are rendered impassable not to mention the destruction of property and sometimes lives. While we might not have control over the rain, we surely should be able to control the after effects.
Year after year, the country grapples with the problem of rain floods which are mainly caused by poor drainage systems, disregard of environmental guidelines such as erecting buildings in swampy areas that are prone to floods, poor garbage disposal which usually blocks drainage systems, in turn hindering passage of water, among others.
The Kampala Capital City Authority 2017 Kampala drainage master plan cites poor design and construction of drains, poor inter connectivity of drains, limited sensitisation of the public, unplanned settlements and poor enforcement mechanisms and mindsets of the people as some of the issues that affect drainage.
In Kampala for instance, the same areas keep flooding every time it rains heavily even for just a few hours, causing an aftermath of traffic jam and in unfortunate circumstances, accidents where people and vehicles are washed away by the floods.
Some of these areas include Industrial Area, where motorists can be seen daring the raging filthy water that takes over road space turning them into mini rivers. Since this is a recurring problem and is almost expected every year, it should be continually planned for and a lasting solution found.
The areas in different parts of the country that are prone to flooding should be identified before the rains start and a plan to prevent the effects of flooding be devised.
We shouldn’t have to keep crying foul about the same problem year in, year out as if it is impossible to solve. We could start with simple steps such as ensuring that man hole covers are intact as these have also been a death trap, especially when rain floods occur.
Then there’s the emphasis on the state of the drainage system. With well-planned and constructed drainage systems, we can alleviate floods.
As has been suggested before by many concerned and expert parties, these systems must undergo regular maintenance which includes unclogging and revaluating their ability and effectiveness to serve their purpose as the water volumes may keep increasing.
Better planning for urban settlement, harvesting rain water, respecting the natural water catchment areas are also probable steps to take.
While we appreciate that some work has been done to alleviate floods in some areas, more has to be done as the rain and consequent floods wait for no man.