By Karen Mkwate
Gweru residents are calling upon the local authority to improve waste collection ahead of the rainy season to prevent the spread of water borne diseases.
A Mkoba 14 resident, Tatenda Mutidzawanda said ‘lack of adequate bins has contributed to the dumping of refuse in open spaces resulting in potential health hazard particularly during this season.’
Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) director, Cornelia Selipiwe said council should educate residents on solid waste management practices.
He said without proper education waste management would remain a big challenge.
‘The biggest problem is that our local authority has not done deliberate moves to try and educate residents in terms of solid waste management,’ said Selipiwe.
‘There is no proper ownership in terms of solid waste management, residents actually think when they are throwing away waste Gweru city council should come and collect yet what should be happening is that with proper education residents should be able to manage their waste but as long there is no civic education in and around there will still be a challenge.’
Mayor Josiah Makombe however said that the effective removal of solid waste has been affected by the shortage of fuel and makes it difficult for them to send refuse collectors at dumpsites on time.
He encouraged residents to decrease the amount of waste and adopt modern waste management techniques.
Gweru city council encourages the residents to practice the 3R concept which ensure reducing the amount of waste which has a multiple usage and recycle all paper, high density plastics amongst others for a cleaner environment,’ Makombe said.
As the rainy season is soon approaching many concerns have been raised about the potential harm from solid waste to the public.
Large amount of waste in the City of Gweru especially high density areas such as Mkoba, Mutapa, Ascot and Senga are generated indicating poor material efficiency in the enterprises especially in food markets areas where huge amounts of material and vegetable waste are generated and disposed haphazardly.
If waste is not managed properly during the rainy season, it may result in devastating effects which include water pollution which subsequently leads to water borne diseases such as Cholera, Typhoid and Dysentery, Furthermore, mismanagement of municipal waste can result in the blockage of storm drains which in turn cause flash floods.
Moreover, during this time of the year markets are bound to change and will be flooded with various types of foods such as Mazhanje, Mangoes and other and these foodstuffs have great potential of littering the environment and attracting mosquitoes that will lead to the outbreak of Malaria if not handled with care by the users.
Communities have been encouraged to place all litter in the bin and not throw litter out of vehicles but rather have trash bag in which one can place all waste awaiting safe disposal in a bin and by all means avoid dumping waste at street corners, open spaces and sanitary lanes.