By Innocent Ruwende
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water and Climate Change and the Environmental Management Agency has urged Harare City Council to capacitate its waste management department to ensure timely collection of garbage. Council has been failing to collect garbage for sometime, resulting in the outbreak of waterborne diseases in suburbs like Mbare.
Speaking during a tour of Mbare, chairperson of the committee Cde Wonder Mashange said residents should also play their part by maintaining a clean environment and paying their bills.
“They need more trucks because of the frequency they collect garbage. If they spent two weeks without collecting garbage, it will accumulate. So, the solution is to capacitate the department. It must be given more resources in terms of trucks or vehicles to ferry the garbage,” he said.
“What contributed to residents not paying maybe initially was poor service delivery. People were maybe paying, but there was no service. I think now it is a question of engaging residents to educate them.
With this kind of improvement in garbage collection, they also need to pay the bills so that service will continually be delivered.”
Cde Mashange said the purpose of the visit was also to inquire if residents were happy with the service they were getting from Harare.
He said as a committee, they were happy with efforts being made by the City of Harare in terms of garbage collection and waste management.
“Usually, typhoid is a disease which is a result of poor hygiene. There was a lot of garbage dotted around Mbare. We said as a committee, we need to go again and visit the area to see the efforts which are being made by the City of Harare,” he said.
City of Harare director of Works, Eng Phillip Pfukwa said the situation in Mbare had improved.
“If we go back four months ago when we had the unfortunate outbreak of typhoid this place was a pigsty but people are now maintaining their working areas,” he said.
“We need refuse compactor in each and one of the 46 wards. As of now, some of the equipment because of its age is on continuous breakdown so our complement of 47 dwindles down to 20 and we resuscitate some and at best we will have 27.”
He said the city has started the process of acquiring new compactors.
EMA spokesperson Steady Kangata said Harare should be capacitated to meet residents’ demands.
“The city has to be capacitated in terms of provision of equipment because failure to have adequate equipment, we will have more waste being generated than the rate at which it is being collected. You will keep having illegal dumps mushrooming. We must get to a point where we have more equipment for regular collection,” he said.