Bulawayo City Council losing anti-litter war

By Staff Reporter

The Bulawayo City Council is struggling to control illegal dumping in the city with some councillors suggesting  that the local authority enlists the services of the police and the army to assist in the enforcement of the City’s by-laws.

The local authority recently re-launched the once defunct Keep Bulawayo Clean Committee under a new name, Bulawayo Solid Waste Improvement Platform (B-SWIP), in an effort to restore the city’s status as one of the cleanest cities in the region.

However, the increase in littering cases, especially in the Central Business District, the face of the city, has got the city fathers worried.

In a Health, Housing and Education committee report, contained in the latest council minutes, councillors said that cases of street littering were a major concern for the city council.

“Councillor G. (Gideon) Mangena commended efforts made by the Health Services department to keep the city clean.

“However, some residents had continued to throw away litter everywhere despite the clean-up campaign efforts. He therefore suggested that Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe National Army be engaged in enforcing anti littering by-laws that offenders could be dealt with. Touts at commuter omnibus ranks were also involved in littering such places,” read part of the report.

Councillor Mangena lamented the state of the CBD and conceded that the city council was failing to enforce relevant by-laws.

He revealed that he has since engaged the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and has set up a resident’s committee to combat illegal dumping in his ward.

EMA has been tough on people who practise illegal dumping and has imposed heavy fines which range from $20 to $5000.

Residents have often blamed the city council’s unreliable refuse collection schedule, with some wards going for a fortnight with uncollected bins, forcing residents to dump the litter in undesignated areas.

“Councillor S. Mataka Moyo noted that there was a serious bin shortage in shopping centre. This has resulted in illegal dumping or burning of the refuse by shop owners – violation of municipal by-laws and EMA regulations,” read the report.

” The Health Services department should therefore increase the frequency of refuse collection especially the refuse gathered by street sweepers at collection points. It would be prudent for the department to communicate if they faced any challenges on the day of collection so that alternative arrangements could be made.”

In response the Director of Health Serives, Dr Zanele Hwalima, explained that various stakeholders have been engaged regarding the issues of the city’s cleanliness.

The Acting Chamber Secretary, Spekiwe Guta also explained that the police was also mandated to enforce by-laws.

She noted that it would not be prudent at this stage to involve the Zimbabwe National Army.

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