By Nyasha Misheal Thaimu
Vendors operating in Harare Central Business District (CBD) have expressed concern over uncollected garbage in the city which they say poses a health time bomb.
A survey carried out by this publication, showed piles of uncollected garbage at Copacabana, Simon Vengesai Muzenda rank (formerly Fourth Street) as well as Market Square
One vendor who identified himself as President of Cross Border South Africa at Fourth Street one Chikohiro said implored the city council to carry out its mandate of garbage collection.
“Since the city fathers have the jurisdiction over the city, they should collect and make sure that there is sanity. I would like to thank the Presidential clean-up campaign with First Lady which are done every first Friday of every month. I was hoping to see that every Friday to have a clean environment,” Chikohiro said
Another vendor who spoke on condition of anonymity said it is now a risk to bring children in the CBD.
“Our plight is dire and it is now unbearable and council should collect garbage, the pollution on these dumpsites end up producing a stench smell and disease breeding up. We are not comfortable to bring our children to work with us,” she added.
Last month, Mayor Jacob Mafume revealed that council is failing to collect garbage because people are not paying up their water bills.
Vendors operating at Road port feel that the City of Harare is short changing them since they pay for their vending spaces.
“City Council is failing to do its work, they are no longer collecting the garbage, they only collect money from us,” said one vendor
In an interview with the Harare City Council spokesperson Innocent Ruwende acknowledged the existence of illegal dumpsites and said council was working to clear them.
‘’The Council knows its duty and is always willing to do it to its full capacity and claims that it is neglecting its role are unfound but as always there are a number of challenges that delay the processes especially in the case of waste management here in Harare.’’
‘’As an entity that has a lot to do we face so many challenges including lack of funds due to unpaid bills by the people, an ignorant generation of citizens who are irresponsible of their environs as well as lack of manpower to carry out some activities around the city center
“Council acknowledges that illegal waste dumping sites have been created in the CBD and urgent action needs to be taken before the problem goes out of hand. Some of these areas include the Market Square rank, Mbare flyover and the Simon Ruzende rank formerly known as Fourth Street rank and measures to curb the issue are already underway,” said Ruwende.
He added “Those waste dumps like the one at Market Square is really a health challenge to everyone and the Council have started its regular waste collections at these areas. We are going to take into consideration all that you said members of the public are suggesting to be done and together we fight this problem.”