Only four of Zimbabwe’s 32 urban local authorities have acceptable dumpsites for garbage disposal with the rest in breach of 2012 regulations that prohibit the use of sub-standard landfill.
Environmental Management Agency spokesperson Ms Amkela Sidange recently said the agency was worried that councils were failing to invest in the proper disposal of waste, exposing humans and the environment to pollution and toxic waste.
“Local authorities including Harare City Council are in breach of a 2012 statutory instrument which requires them to have a standard dumpsite. At the moment only four councils have standard landfills,” she said.
Sub-standard dumpsites allow flies and mosquitoes to breed, creating health dangers by allowing the harbouring of pathogens and promoting the spread of diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery and malaria.
Ms Sidange, with specific reference to Harare City Council, said the continued reliance on the traditional waste disposal system with open dumping and burning of solid waste continued to pose health hazards.
Harare’s Pomona dumpsite has over the years come under scrutiny due to fire outbreaks which led to air pollution with bellowing smoke and emission of toxic gases across a swathe of northern suburbs.
Harare has haphazard dumping of waste involving mixing industrial, domestic and acidic waste which allowed fires and contaminated underground water aquifers. Haphazard dumping of waste also reduces aesthetics of the landscape as dumpsites were usually filthy.
Mutare City council recently said it needs US$1 million for the establishment of a new solid waste landfill, which has been identified as a sustainable solution to the challenge of solid waste management.