By Takudzwa Charmaine Chikakayi
The Harare City Council says the non-payment of rates by residents has crippled service delivery leading to the continued garbage pile up in the city.
Uncollected garbage at various public places in the Central Business District (CBD) and various suburbs have been the order of the day with council seemingly overwhelmed by the situation.
In an interview with Zimreview.com, acting Harare City Council spokesperson, Innocent Ruwende said council has been affected by non-payment of rates by residents.
“As HCC, one of the factors seizing us is the issue of rate payers not paying for service delivery and there is a mismatch between residents’ expectations and what is being paid to the council. The city is currently procuring plant and equipment to ensure it fulfils its role. It has taken delivery of 5 refuse compactors and still expecting a delivery of other 5. It has also taken a delivery of 5 tipper trucks to clear illegal dumps out of the 10 bought,” Ruwende said.
The HCC has been struggling to buy a new fleet of garbage collection trucks and other service vehicles due to funding constraints. Currently they have around 20 refuse compactors against a requirement of about 46.
In an interview, health expert Tanaka Mandizvidza said lack of waste management in high density suburbs exposes people to waterborne diseases.
“Houses and areas surrounding uncollected garbage are unsafe as those places can cause health problems. The City Council and Environmental Management Agency (EMA) should implement an effective waste recycling program for plastic and cans.
“Contracting private firms that focus on waste management and collections is also fundamental. Designation of more areas for composting waste like Pomona will help in waste management and getting rid of uncollected garbage,” said Mandizvidza.
He said biodigesters are an effective way to address the issue of waste management.
Section 73 of the Zimbabwe Constitution provides that every Zimbabwean has a right to a clean environment, which is not harmful to their health and well-being.