Harare City Council has just 10 days to clear all illegal rubbish dumps at the terminuses and market places in Mbare under an environmental protection order issued by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).
Mbare is Harare’s oldest suburb, home to Zimbabwe’s biggest bus terminus and houses Harare’s largest vegetable market, but has seen most of its problems ignored by the city council.
Harare Metropolitan Province environmental education and publicity officer Ms Batsirai Sibanda said the agency took advantage of the Covid-19 lockdown to assess the environmental situation in the city.
Ms Sibanda said they observed that Mbare was full of illegal dumps.
“On February 2, 2021, the Environmental Management Agency served City of Harare with an environmental protection order,” she said.
“The circumstance giving rise to serving of the order is of illegal dumps due to non-refuse collection in Mbare in areas that include Mbare Msika Terminus exit, Farmer’s Market, Matererini Flats transfer point, Mutare Rank, Remembrance House transfer point and at Corner Chigwida Street and Ardbernie Street.”
Ms Sibanda said the agency ordered that by February 12, City of Harare should have cleared all the waste from the above mentioned points and to ensure that any other illegal dumps in Mbare were cleared.
“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,” she said.
Ms Sibanda said the environmental agency provided City of Harare with a tractor to collect spoils of waste left during storm drain clearing.
“As you are well aware that we are in the middle of the rainy season and the city centre has a tendency to flood due 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.