Bulawayo City Council (BCC) started a three-day clean-up targeting 43 waste hotspots in the city centre on Tuesday.
Bulawayo town clerk Mr Christopher Dube said the aim of the clean-up campaign was to reduce the risk of waste-related disease outbreaks. The five worst hotspots were corner Lobengula Street and Second Avenue, Third Avenue between Joshua Mqabuko and Jason Moyo Street, corner George Silundika and Third Avenue, Fourth Avenue between Fife Street and George Silundika and Fifth Avenue between Robert Mugabe Way and Josiah Tongogara Street.
Ninth Avenue had most of the hotspots, with a majority of them being in sanitary lanes, while the Fifth Avenue market area has four hotspots. The entire 10th and 13th Avenue are the only streets without any illegal dumpsites in the entire city centre.
The first day of the clean-up was held at the Lobengula Street Mall in the afternoon. This place is relatively clean as there is a committee that coordinate its cleaning.
Members of Bulawayo City Council, Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Bulawayo United Public Transporters Association (BUPTA), ZITF staff and members of the Sinqobile Community Health Club gathered to collect the garbage.
During the clean-up at Lobengula Street Mall one of the vendors, Ms Sarah Dube, said they always sweep around their stalls and put the garbage in one area.
She said it takes too long for city council to collect the garbage, thus making the place a health hazardous.
“We are really happy the local authority always thinks of us when doing the campaigns. However, they should not be this effective only when there are cameras. It should be something that they are doing every day,” said Ms Dube.
Another vendor, who only identified herself as MaNcube, said: “I am happy the place is going to be clean today. A clean place brings customers and makes our work easy. It is a challenge that sometimes the garbage is not collected for almost two weeks and this makes us lose customers, especially during the rainy season.”
Bulawayo deputy mayor Councillor Mlandu Ncube said people should be respectful of their environment. He said the obligation of passing a clean Bulawayo to future generations lies with everyone.
“Cleaning should be a daily exercise and every citizen of Bulawayo should be a cleaning ambassador,” said Cllr Ncube.
“We need to have a collaborative mind-set and we need consensus to overcome this barrier. We have to agree on the city we want and all work towards keeping Bulawayo clean.”
Cllr Ncube conceded that the city was dirty and this was a cause of concern for council.
“As the city of Bulawayo we show pride in a clean environment, hence the current status quo is a cause of concern for us. We need to take pride in our city and ensure that we keep Bulawayo clean so that we have a sense of belonging and a responsibility for our places of work, or stay and our central business district,” said Cllr Ncube. Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube was represented by the director of affairs and investment in her office, Mr Simon Saunyama, who encouraged the businesses to adopt a street to clean. – Chronicle