Garbage mounds at Mbare markets and terminuses are supposed to be cleared by Friday under an environmental order from the Environmental Management Agency, but Harare City Council has done almost nothing and is unlikely to be able to clear the dumps today and tomorrow.
The environmental protection order was issued on Tuesday last week, with the council given 10 days to clear the dumps in Mbare, particularly at Mbare Musika Terminus exit, Farmer’s Market, Matererini Flats transfer point, Mutare Rank, Remembrance House transfer point and at the corner of Chigwida Street and Ardbernie Street.
But council is unfazed and the heaps of garbage still dominate at the country’s biggest terminus and vegetable market, as well as the other major points where the public and buses need to gather.
EMA’s Harare Metropolitan Province environmental education and publicity officer Ms Batsirai Sibanda said the agency was taking advantage of the Covid-19 lockdown to assess the environmental situation in Harare and found Mbare littered with illegal dumps and so a good place to start a clean-up.
“The agency encourages all local authorities to prioritise waste management issues and to adopt an integrated solid waste management plan, which promotes a circular economy.”
Ms Sibanda said EMA had provided City of Harare with a tractor to collect waste left during storm drain clearing in the city centre, where mounds of rotting litter were dug out of the catch-pits that lead to the storm water drains, blocking these and polluting the storm water on its route to the supply dams.
“As you are well aware we are in the middle of the rainy season and the central business district tends to flood due to excessive rains and blocked storm drains.
“That is why we saw it fit to assist with a tractor to remove the waste spoils,” she said.
Apart from Mbare, the city has been struggling to collect refuse in almost every suburb resulting in heaps of uncollected garbage in many, where residents are just emptying bins at convenient points.
In some areas most residents bag garbage, which helps keep order, and in the areas where lots of well-off people live a private collection service, paid in foreign currency, has been collecting bags and emptying bins.