By Christine Chiromo & Faith Muringai
The much publicized Midlands land audit report has come under fire from residents of council owned Randolph Phase 1, who are questioning why the area was not included in the report since there is no required service provisions like roads, running water, sewer and electricity.
According to residents who stormed The Sun newsroom, said the report was biased against private developers who some have even done better than the council owned housing projects like Randolph Phase 1, were stand owners are constructing own roads.
We want the minister of state for Midlands province Larry Mavhima to independently investigate council housing schemes as some are worse than housing schemes by private developers. Atleast some developers managed to build roads, sewer among others not GCC projects,” said Renny Maguramiti.
Mayor Josiah Makombe said the exercise to look at areas affected by flash flooding was not a council exercise but a government initiative.
“As council, when we got into office we realized that there were so many areas and housing schemes that were already sold and beneficiaries not only in Randolph Phase 1,but also Mkoba 21 and what we have done is to start working on those areas and for Mkoba 21 it is almost a done deal because we have managed to partner with developers to do work on our behalf and for Randolph we are in the process of acquiring equipment,” Makombe added
Construction in wetlands, poor roads and storm water drain installation and maintenance contributed to flooding in most of these settlement schemes. Property developers failed to meet required time frames and standards on the provisions of basic infrastructure.
Besides flooding impacts, the proposed housing scheme in Mkoba 21 extension under Gweru City Council lies in the pollution zone from the heavy industrial emissions. The capacity of the available water reserves for planned urban settlements have been strained by un-matching peri-urban expansion.
Most of these areas have poor solid waste management resulting in the proliferation of illegal dumps and blockages of storm water drains which is also contributing to flooding in the towns and cities within the province.