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Majority of BCC refuse removal trucks break down

by Staff reporter
03 Feb 2022 at 05:38hrs | Views
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is facing transport challenges as the majority of its refuse trucks are broken down, resulting in the local authority hiring vehicles to do the job.

Council has 34 different types of trucks involved in waste removal and only seven are in good condition.

The vehicles are said to be facing various mechanical problems and some were involved in accidents which has forced council to hire private trucks for refuse collection.

Despite the transport challenges, council says it has managed to adhere to the weekly schedule of collecting refuse in all residential areas.

According to the latest full council minutes of the Health, Housing and Education committee meeting, the challenge was hampering efforts to keep the city centre clean.

"The challenge remained with refuse collection in the Central Business District due to refuse compactors that were broken down.

The pace of procuring spares for broken down vehicles was very slow. The department has engaged the Procurement Management Unit on ensuring that the refuse compactors that were broken down were back on the road at the earliest possible time so that removal of waste in the Central Business District was improved.

The section fleet of vanettes used in supervisory activities was now old with all of the vehicles having been used for more than 25 years and constantly breakdown," read the minutes.

During discussions, Councillor Felix Mhaka raised concern over the slow process of acquiring spare parts.

He said there was need for council to acquire new trucks and wanted clarity on the position of the loan applied for to address the challenges.

In response, the Assistant Director of Health Services Charles Malaba advised that the major challenges were aged vehicles and lack of finance.

"The vehicles were no longer reliable. They broke down soon after repair. The department therefore hired trucks to cover the gap," he said.

The Chamber Secretary, Mrs Sikhangele Zhou said borrowing powers for the loan to buy new trucks were yet to be approved.

She said the matter was still being pursued and the acquisition of new vehicles was in the capital budget leaving council with no option but to hire vehicles.

Early last month, council took a decision of fining litter bugs, and is in the process of lobbying Government to make littering fines more deterrent.

The minutes say despite the transport challenges, council has managed to adhere to the weekly schedule of collecting refuse in all residential areas.

"Streets in the Central Business District (CBD) and residential areas were satisfactorily maintained. However, the shortage of vehicles remained a challenge in clearing sweepings placed by sweepers in sanitary lanes and designated temporary points along major roads.

The problem was being exacerbated by shop owners without refuse bins who dumped their waste in sanitary lanes. In residential areas, residents dumped refuse in these streets sweeping collection areas mostly during the night in spite of the fact that refuse was collected weekly in their areas without fail," read the minutes.

Last month, the authority started cleaning up sanitary lanes in the city centre as a way of regaining lost glory as the country's cleanest city.

The sanitary lanes which are designed to provide leeway for service vehicles, such as delivery and garbage collection trucks, had become an eyesore, blighting the city's image.

Source - The Chronicle