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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Government moves in on Emergency Solid Waste Management Remedial Action

Story by Memory Chamisa

GOVERNMENT is set to release a schedule for refuse collection in business and residential areas as it works to restore order in Harare.

Littered streets and waste dumps have been the norm of late in both the business and residential areas of the capital city.

The situation has not only been worsened by failure on the local authority’s part in providing adequate bins, but also by non-collection and irregular collection of waste.

The government has since intervened and declared a State of Emergency on Waste Management in Harare and this Sunday witnessed the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Mangaliso Ndhlovu, accompanied by the implementing body, the Environmental Management Agency officials, touring some of the areas that have had a reoccurrence of illegal dumpsites.

The tour included Chitungwiza, Mbare, the central business district’s bus termini Market Square and Copacabana.

“The Ministry through the Environmental Management Agency is seized with task of restoring normalcy to Waste Management and today, I have been assessing the situation and getting an appraisal from EMA on the way forward.

“It has emerged that a timetable is going to be set for business and residential areas for refuse collection. Capacitation of the Agency has already been done as we have supplied refuse trucks, and tipper trucks to be used in these areas for a continuous process of keeping the city clean,” said Hon Ndhlovu.

He added, “The whole government and society approach is therefore key in the entire waste management matrix. It is envisaged that collectively, we will have positive results that will uphold the constitutional right of every person in the country to a clean environment which is not harmful to health in terms of section 73 of the constitution of Zimbabwe.”

“The success of all these efforts is anchored on strengthened enforcement and compliance, education and awareness as well as regular and timely collection of waste with all support structures in place to have a clean Harare Metropolitan Province. The Government has noted with great concern, most urban local authorities have dismally failed to collect waste as well as to remove the mushrooming dumpsites sprouting within communities,” he said.

Residents have applauded the government initiative.

“This here has been going on for years and when it’s during the rainy season the smell that comes from that dumpsites is terrible,” said one of the residents.

Another added, “Our city fathers have just failed us. Back in the day we would know to refuse is collected twice a week, but now we are supposed to see a refuse truck in the area and most of the time they leave without having collected as people would not have been alerted.”

“Some of these outbreaks are as a result of these illegal dumpsites. We are grateful the government has moved in to collect and protect us,” another reiterated.

The government has since started remedial work to ensure solid waste management in Harare is undertaken efficiently during the period of this declaration and beyond.

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