Danger: Aged trees about to fall

Most trees in the capital were planted during the colonial times, meaning they are now more than 100 years old. Many post a risk to life, property and power cables. Whole trees or branches collapse or break in strong winds or storms, and in some cases they just fall even during calm weather.

An Avondale man recently sustained fatal injuries when a tree collapsed on him. He was rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital but died before he could be attended to. In another recent incident, a house in the Avenues area was damaged by a falling tree.

Reports indicate that power cables are a frequent victim of falling trees or snapping branches, plunging whole communities into darkness or exposing residents to electrocution. The trees have also fallen on parked cars.

“We live in perpetual fear as walking in the streets especially where there is an old jacaranda trees because the trees can fall any time,” said Annamore Rusendo, a Harare resident who escaped death by whisker when a big branch almost fell on the roof of the car she was travelling in.

Residents have repeatedly called on Harare City Council to fell the trees and replace them with new ones, but it seems no-one is listening. The Council’s Public Relations Manager, Leslie Gwindi, called on residents to report trees they considered dangerous to the local authority’s tree-felling unit.

The Director of Housing and Community Services, Justin Chivavaya, said efforts to replace old trees were being hampered by members of the public who are trampling on or uprooting the new plants.

“We have tried to plant new trees but we have faced resistance from the people. I appeal to residents to help keep the trees. It is for their benefit. We are playing our part and they should play their part,” he said.

He said the city authority was also facing resistance from motorists who insisted trees should not be planted in spaces that have been used for parking.

“In urban areas there is bound to be a conflict between parking space and tree planting. Motorists should realise they need the trees to provide them with shade. Trees also help to absorb the gases emitted by vehicles,” he said.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *