Recreational space in Harare is slowly turning into dumpsites as the city council struggles to collect refuse in both residential and commercial areas.
Most recreational facilities have been neglected, resulting in people dumping garbage at idle facilities, including stadiums, grounds, parks and sports clubs.
Contrary to the city’s ambitious vision of becoming a world-class city by 2025, council is struggling to collect garbage on regular intervals, leading to the mushrooming illegal dumpsites.
Recreational facilities and open public land without perimeter walls or fences have piles of refuse, while secured facilities have heaps of garbage.
Many high-density suburbs such as Mbare, Mufakose, Dzivaresekwa and Mabvuku have become an eyesore as almost every recreational facility and street corner has been turned into an illegal dumpsite.
Harare corporate communications manager, Mr Michael Chideme yesterday said: “There is a standing ban on dumping in open spaces, including recreational centres and there is also the city’s anti-litter by-law,” he said.
The city anti-litter by-law of 2016 states that no person shall deposit or abandon or cause or permit to be deposited or abandon any form of litter in a public space.
EMA Harare provincial environmental education and publicity officer, Ms Batsirai Sibanda said the mushrooming of illegal dumpsites was caused by the fire outbreak at Pomona dumpsite on August 14, which resulted in waste not being collected on time.
Although the dumpsite is back in operation, the collection backlog is still huge.
“For two weeks, there was no refuse collection,” said Mr Sibanda.
“Currently, EMA is monitoring the City of Harare to ensure that all waste that had accumulated has been removed from the environment.”