Bulawayo City Council


Road Drainage

As the rainy season has started Bulawayo City Council wishes to raise public awareness that under Part VIII of the Roads Act [Chapter 13:18], owners, occupiers or users of any land are obliged to take all reasonable steps to ensure that:-

  • (a) Water is not prevented, obstructed or impeded from draining into, onto, under or through their land from a public road,
  • (b) Water, soil or other material is prevented from flowing or falling onto a public road from their land.
  • Owners, occupiers or users of any land may also be liable if accidents occur as a result of:-
  • (a) water being prevented from draining off a public road into, onto, under or through their land, or
  • (b) Water, soil or other material flowing or escaping from their land onto a public road.

Particular attention should be taken to ensure compliance with these obligations, and with ensuring that all entrances over drains are adequate and allow the free flow of water (e.g. weepholes in property boundary walls, adequately culverted or piped).

Bulawayo City Council may serve a Notice under the Roads Act [Chapter 13:18] and/or the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27] on the owners, occupiers or users of any land who do not comply with these requirements.

It is an offence not to comply with such a Notice, or with any Planning Enforcement Notice, which if pursued through the courts may result in prosecutions and fines.

Please further note that without the consent of Bulawayo City Council, it is an offence to:

  • (i) Scour, deepen, widen or fill in any existing drain or excavate any new drain within the boundary of a public road,
  • (ii) Interfere with, or carry out any works which interfere with a bridge, culvert, retaining wall, embankment or other structure providing lateral or other support for a public road.

This does not apply to the ordinary maintenance of drains which the owner, occupier or user of any land is required to carry out to ensure water is not prevented from draining from the public road or to prevent water, soil or other material flowing or falling onto a public road.

It is also an offence under the Roads Act [Chapter 13:18] to deposit materials on a public road, or to permit mud or anything that falls from a vehicle to remain on the public road, so as to cause a hazard or potential hazard to road users, or to obstruct or interfere with the safe use of the road.

Residents are also advised that in the event of flooding, they should call the Fire Brigade immediately on:

(09) 71717 – 9

Or 993/994 Toll free from landlines only

Or 08080081 Econet Lines toll free only

They are further advised:

  1. Never attempt to re-enter premises once you have evacuated.
  2. Never attempt to cross flooded streams and rivers.
  3. Keep up to date with weather bulletins/news.
  4. If your property is walled make sure you create weepholes for water to escape.
  5. Ensure the drainage around your property is cleared before the onset of the rains.

NB: If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Close all windows lock up all doors.

Proceed to designated safe areas where the Fire Brigade and other support services will render assistance


DATE : 8 January 2019


  • Call Centre Contacts:
  • (09) 71290 - All Networks
  • callcentre@citybyo.co.zw
  • Fire and Ambulance:
  • 993, 994 , (09) 71717
  • 08080081 - Econ toll free