Thursday, December 2, 2021
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City council calls for collective responsibility on waste management

Thabiso Nxumalo

Masvingo City Council has called for a collective approach between council, residents and other stakeholders on the city’s dire waste management situation which has been flagged by various stakeholders to be an unfolding crisis.
Speaking during a WhatsApp group discussion organised by TellZim News, Masvingo City Acting Chief Environmental Health Officer Ngonidzashe Mapamula said it was every resident’s duty to keep the planet clean and desist from polluting it anyhow.
“What is really worrying is that as human beings, we pollute the environment and not take responsibility for cleaning up.
“Residents need to have a sense of ownership, they should police themselves. A waste management crisis exists in the whole world and the challenge is what capacity as Zimbabwe, as Masvingo do we have to manage this global crisis,” said Mapamula.
He said the policing mechanisms are not enough to change the mind-set and behaviour of people.
“The residents should police themselves so that they act responsibly. Yes, EMA and ZRP may come in with fines but that is not enough to change the people’s mind-sets. Let us preserve this environment for the future generations.
“We now have an environmental management-policing unit fully supported by EMA. They need you to whistle-blow so that we shame the polluters. Our refuse removal is based on a weekly schedule (and) if we fail to collect we always follow up during the weekend, so no to dumping please,” said Mapamula.
Masvingo Service Delivery Residents and Ratepayers Association (MASDRRA) and Masvingo Residents Forum (MRF) pilled the blame on Masvingo City Council for failing to properly manage waste.
The resident associations accused the city council of failing to educate residents on proper waste disposal as well as collecting refuse at convenient times.
MRF chairperson Brighton Ramusi said there was a waste management crisis in Masvingo City and waste collection timetable was not convenient and this resulted in residents dumping waste at undesignated points.
“The City fathers are to blame as we go for a long period of time without having our refuse being collected and hence residents resort to dumping refuse at undesignated places thereby causing environmental problems.
“Residents deserve services that they are paying for, the refuse trucks usually come around three or four in the morning when the residents are still sleeping.
“They are also failing to educate residents on how to safely dispose waste in their homes, they must raise awareness and provide waste separating facilities at homes,” said Ramusi
MASDRRA secretary general Moses Mavhusa echoed the same sentiments saying the city council and Environmental Management Agency (EMA) are to blame for failing to educate residents and on collection timetable.
“We do not know if the council has a timetable. If they have they are definitely not following it and they are not teaching the residents on disposal enough.
“The most critical issue in this is the failure to complete the dumpsite, they just promise residents that it will be completed but it never suffices,” said Mavhusa.

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