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Waste management crisis gives birth to cholera outbreak

Waste management crisis gives birth to cholera outbreak

Story by Wellington Makonese

THE Civil Protection Department says the leadership crisis at the City of Harare has contributed to waste management and cholera disasters which has prompted a multi-stakeholder approach to rescue the situation.

Days turned into weeks, months, and years where sewer repairs and safe water provision became a toll order for the city fathers while uncollected garbage curved into a daily nightmare.

These were the early warning signs of a tragedy to come, a catastrophe of medieval nature in the form of a cholera outbreak.

The origins are traced to the leadership vacuum at Town House due to opposition intra-party disputes.

The internal political chaos in the opposition CCC has since birthed four mayoral elections in the past year while several executive positions are yet to be filled substantively.

In the absence of a solid plan to deal with waste management and cholera, the Civil Protection Department has since intervened as per provisions of the law.

“Legal definition of a disaster in the Civil Protection Act speaks to disruption of essential service, environmental pollution that’s why I always refer to the cabinet committee on disaster management, that’s why it’s not by accident that we are usurping the role of the local authority, we have seen the non-collection of waste is now being compounded by the emergency of cholera,” said the Chief Director Civil Protection Department, Mr Nathan Nkomo.

Mr Nathan Nkomo clarified the government’s role in restoring normalcy.

He added, “I’m happy that we have managed to mobilise expertise in the area of waste collection, a disaster by nature knows no sectors, the CPU defines a disaster and moves in, be it mining disasters, you saw it in flooding and we also do so for Harare until normalcy returns.”

The city of Harare is the confluence of economic activity in Zimbabwe holding the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 22.8% among the provinces, according to ZIMSTAT 2023 figures.

Maladministration, corruption and inept leadership have, however, been at the centre of the Harare City Council resulting in suspensions and arrests of some senior officials.

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