Bulawayo - While most residential areas of Bulawayo are now relatively clean with the local authority removing refuse on a weekly basis, the same cannot be said of the Central Business District (CBD) which receives a daily influx of residents from all corners of the city and even beyond.
The city fathers, who have always emphasized that residents have the responsibility to keep the City of Kings and Queens clean, have expressed concern over the littering of the CBD at a time when townships have done so much to restore their neighbourhoods.
Addressing a Zone Four meeting recently, Councillor (Cllr) Earnest Rafamoyo, Ward 20, said while the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is impressed with the cleanliness of townships, there is still a need to educate residents to extend that cleanliness to the CBD by avoiding dumping litter in the streets.
“On waste removal, we are doing very well and even far much better than Washington DC and all our residential areas are now clean,” said Cllr Rafamoyo.
“However, we still have problems in the CBD which calls for more campaigns on refuse removal and keeping our city clean.”
Before the economic decline, Bulawayo, once Southern Africa’s cleanest city, used to enforce strict by-laws on litter dumping which saw offenders paying heavy fines for their offences.
Cllr Gideon Mangena, Ward 24, said he was educating residents in his ward to keep the city clean but the challenge is that some people who litter the environment are people from outside the city.
He said by-laws on the littering of the environment are still in place.
“However, the challenge is that much littering of the city happens at night making it difficult to bring perpetrators to book,” said Cllr Mangena.
He added that it is important for the Council to collaborate with both police and Environmental Management Agency for the CBD to remain clean.
Ward 26 Councillor, Norman Hlabani, said the city fathers have at times deployed clean-up teams into the CBD.
“We know that the majority of the people who litter the city are vendors who come from townships,” explained Cllr Hlabani.
Cllr Mlandu Ncube, Ward 1, which covers the CBD, called upon fellow councillors to help him clean the city by continuing to educate their residents on the importance of keeping the environment clean.
He said to enhance cleanliness, the Council should consider budgeting for community sweepers in the CBD as is the case with the townships.