PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa proclaimed the first Friday of every month as the national clean-up day. The response to this clarion call has been massive with corporates in particular taking it upon themselves to clean up the dirty and garbage infested streets around the country.
Among some of the corporates which have heeded to this call include TelOne, NetOne, Steward Bank, National Blood Services, Old Mutual among a host of others. It has been three months now since the first national clean up kicked off and yet our streets remain littered with garbage and decomposing refuse piling up in backyards.
This shows probably something is really wrong with us as a people or somebody somewhere is sleeping on the job. The issue of refuse collection under normal circumstances should never be a citizens’ job but our case is special, its either we warm up to the call or we die. The choice is ours.
Illegal dumping sites used to be a crisis peculiar to the Ghetto or high density suburbs but owing to continued failure by the City fathers to stick to refuse collection schedules, illegal garbage sites are increasingly becoming a menace even in the CBD and affluent suburbs.
During the just ended Clean-up day, this publication had the opportunity of witnessing a clean up activity at Tackerell Court corner Central Avenue and 8th Street in Harare by TelOne. What we witnessed there cannot be described enough in writing.
The amount of garbage that is rotting behind Tackrell Court’s walls is out of this world. To those familiar with place, Cnr 8th and Central Avenue is famed for being one of the busiest spots for sex work and most of the ladies of the night reside at Tackarell court. After their sessions, they just dump used condoms and toilet paper behind the walls. Disgusting isn’t it?
To those who have been fortunate enough to have babies, they also dump filled up diapers on the same spot. You can imagine the kind of concoction a magician could come up with from used latex, diapers, toilet paper and food left overs. The smell is just Epic, grotesque and obnoxious. No sane human being can live under such conditions.
Unfortunately, kids of all ages who reside by the court have to breathe in this dirty air on a daily basis. Thanks to TelOne for promising to put up standalone bins at the dumpsite so that there won’t be continued dumping of garbage there.
The issue of garbage has become a headache especially in Harare where the city fathers seem not be taking the crisis seriously. In other towns like Bulawayo, Kwekwe and Gweru, the citizens are switched on when it comes to maintaining their city. The same can’t be said about Harare hence the need for Clean-up day. At least this can instil some sense of belonging and love for our environment.
The call to a clean-up by the President has to some extent been viewed by some as mere political talk meant to divert people’s attention from the real bread and butter issues facing citizens on a daily basis.
Indeed Zimbabwe is going through a tough economic period but lest we forget, the country was hit by countless Cholera and Typhoid outbreaks in 2018 and is still facing another outbreak in the Cyclone hit areas.
The garbage problem at our hands is real and big, should we let down our guard, it’s just a matter of time before Cholera strikes against in Harare and this time it won’t be merciless considering the issue of garbage is now a countrywide problem. The city of Harare has also adopted a water rationing routine which has seen most residential areas going without water for days.
A water crisis coupled with a dirty and filthy environment is a fertile breeding ground for archaic diseases like Cholera and others. Fortunately, this can be reversed, it only takes you and me to step up to the occasion and take part in the national clean up drive.