THE City of Harare this week commissioned 22 trucks, a front end loader, an excavator, four tractors and 20 motorcycles to enhance service delivery.
“Mayor Jacob Mafume has commissioned 20 Nissan NP200 trucks, two Navara single cab trucks, one front end loader, one excavator, four tractors and 20 motorcycles at Town House. The vehicles and heavy machines will be used to enhance service delivery in the City,” the municipality said in a statement on Tuesday this week.
The 20 Nissan NP200 and two single cab trucks will help improve the mobility of workers such as plumbers and other artisans who carry out operations as well as the municipal police and development control units who enforce by-laws.
However, the heavy machinery remains lower than the desired levels which means services such as refuse collection and clearing as well as maintenance of storm water drains will remain suppressed.
In terms of heavy machinery and equipment, the City of Harare should ideally operate with 62 refuse compactors with an acceptable minimum availability of 30 trucks.
According to a report on the State of Harare Metropolitan Province covering January to August 2021, the city needs 13 skip trucks with an acceptable minimum availability of 10 but the municipality was having only three skip trucks in use on average as the other 10 were undergoing repairs.
The city must have two front end loaders to use in waste management with at least one expected to be available at all times but the city has bought just one while at the time the report was released the two front end loaders were grounded.
Harare must have an optimal number of five tipper trucks and it recently bought a number of new ones while the old ones were undergoing repairs.
“The refuse collection efficiency for the period under review stood below 50 percent. This mainly attributed to the low fleet availabilities experienced during the period under review,” read the report.
At the time the report was produced the city was operating with one hired bulldozer with low reliability and frequent breakdowns yet it needs two bulldozers.
The city was expecting to take delivery of a new bulldozer in December last year but it could not be established if the equipment had arrived.
Council also expected to receive a new landfill compactor early this year and it could not be established if the compactor has been delivered.
The report said dump clearances were mainly affected by the unavailability of divisional tippers but even after taking delivery of some new tippers, the city is still battling to clear dumpsites.
This week the owner of a block of flats near Montagu Shopping Centre and a hospital in the area registered their displeasure with Ward 6 Councillor Charles Nyatsuro over piles of rubbish in the Avenues.
The flat owner complained that the illegal rubbish dumps in the area were devaluing his property and those of others in the neighbourhood.
Cllr Nyatsuro told Suburban that he had also received complaints from a nearby private hospital over the worsening situation of illegal rubbish dumps.
The hospital complained that some people were burning the rubbish at the dumps causing air pollution.
Cllr Nyatsuro said the City of Harare plans to clear the illegal dump near Montagu Shopping Centre in the Avenues soon following complaints by the flat owner and the private hospital.
“Council is going to make an arrangement to clear the dump,” he said.
Cllr Nyatsuro said the city is collecting refuse in the ward but they sometimes face challenges.
“We have a schedule but sometimes it is not religiously followed due to breakdowns of our refuse trucks and sometimes fuel (shortages),” he said.