Building in flood areas

THE recent flash floods caused by torrential rain during TC Josie has once again exposed the vulnerability of the people residing in informal settlements, some of whom are being earmarked for issuance of formal leases for residential purposes.

I understand most of them are evacuees currently sheltering in nearby schools.

Whether they will be able to afford to build cyclone and flood resilient homes is another issue that needs to be also carefully assessed.

I believe it is absolutely necessary that a detailed study should be undertaken before the tenants are permitted to construct their dwellings in these flood-prone areas.

Otherwise, it may prove costly to resettle them to another location later on. We need long-term solutions to mitigate the risks.

It has also been observed that because of the surge in demand, the agricultural lands are being converted into commercial lots in the peri-urban areas.

As part of the land preparation there is a lot of soil dumping being done to raise the ground level thus disturbing the pathway for rain water resulting in the overflow into the neighbouring low-lying areas.

This problem is further compounded by the poor drainage system.

I urge the relevant authorities to urgently look into these concerns.