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BCC acts on garbage collection backlog

by Staff reporter
13 Sep 2022 at 05:52hrs | Views
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) yesterday launched a massive clean-up campaign dubbed "Big Spring-Cleaning Week" in the city centre and pledged to rope in community tractors for refuse collection as heaps of garbage continue mounting on the streets.

As a result of BCC's failure to collect refuse, residents have resorted to illegal dumping of waste in open spaces and sanitary lanes, forming breeding grounds for diseases and vermin.

When disease-causing vectors come into contact with human beings or food, they may transmit bacterial diseases that include salmonellosis, skin infections and tetanus.

They are also capable of causing viral diseases like trachoma, hepatitis A and gastroenteritis as well as parasitic diseases that include hookworm, threadworm and roundworm.

Once dubbed the cleanest city in Sadc region, Bulawayo has of late become an eyesore with informal traders being blamed for contributing towards littering the city centre.

BCC, which has a depleted refuse vehicle fleet, embarked on the citywide big spring-cleaning week targeting 35 sites that have been identified as the dirtiest in the city centre.

Residents, businesses and Government departments have partnered with the local authority in the cleaning up exercise.

The big spring-cleaning week started at the corner of Jason Moyo Street and 5th Avenue and moved to George Silundika Street and sanitary lanes along 2nd Avenue between Samuel Parirenyatwa and Josiah Tongogara Street.

Council also cleaned up the sanitary lanes along 2nd Avenue and between Robert Mugabe Way and Josiah Tongogara Street, at 2nd Avenue and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and Jason Moyo Street.

Other sanitary lanes were those along 3rd Avenue between Fife Street and George Silundika Street and along 3rd Avenue between Jason Moyo and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street.

A front-end loader and a tipper truck were deployed to the site to load the litter. Surprisingly, some informal traders continued selling edibles.

BCC also removed garbage along Lobengula Street adjacent to the Egodini Mall site where vendors would be relocated upon its completion.

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube implored residents and local businesses to complement BCC efforts.

"I usually greet residents, saying ‘linjani Bulawayo omuhle', but I don't think I can repeat that statement today. We have to self-introspect as a city and as we were cleaning today, we discovered that people are urinating in empty containers and then throw them in open spaces," she said.

 "This is an embarrassment to the city and I am therefore urging our city fathers to educate residents. We will also engage some of the elders to assist in that regard."

Minister Ncube said Bulawayo should reclaim its past glory of being the cleanest city in the country.

"To the general populace of the city we are saying we should properly dispose of litter. We always want to be rated highly when it comes to cleanliness. Vending is not a problem as it is a source of livelihood, but it shouldn't be done haphazardly," she said.

Bulawayo Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni said the shortage of refuse trucks continues to hamper council in terms of refuse collection.

"We are supposed to have 26 refuse collection vehicles, but those which are serviceable are around 14. At any given time, we are having eight trucks servicing the whole city," he said.

Clr Mguni said council is considering roping in community truckers for refuse collection in the city centre.

"It's something that we are considering for the city centre. Western suburbs were being serviced by the refuse compactors that we have hence we are considering roping in community tractors for the city centre as well," he said.

Council has engaged private truck owners in the collection of refuse in western suburbs thus creating employment for local residents.

Clr Mguni said council has also engaged police to deal with vendors that are operating illegally.

"We have had several meetings with the Joint operations command (JOC). Security apparatus and vendors' association leaders have been engaged as we try to remove the illegal vendors," he said.

Acting Bulawayo health services director Mr Charles Malaba said some of the smaller cities have overtaken Bulawayo in terms of cleanliness.

Source - The Chronicle
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