by Tawanda Musariri
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday morning led in launching a national clean-up campaign attended by environment and social service stakeholders in Harare.
Vice Presidents Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga, together with Ministers for Environment and Local Government together with parliamentarians, councillors and the Mayor of Harare,Councillor Herbert Gomba accompanied the President on the national tour of duty.
In the past several weeks, the city of Harare fell siege of a devastating cholera outbreak, a disease that thrives under filth and dirt. Fifty five people succumbed to the disease which infected thousands others.
The launch was taken to Machipisa township of Highfield where litter dump trucks trooped to cart away litter dumped uncollected at street corners.
The city of Harare is responsible for litter collection and to this end; residents are charged a fee for this service which is seldom rendered.
In his address to gathered residents, Government officials, city fathers and environmentalists, the President said, “The campaign, running under the theme, 'Zero tolerance to litter-my environment, my pride', is timely as it is happening against the backdrop of the ongoing socio-economic reforms.
“The campaign theme resonates with that of the UN Environment 2018 theme, 'beating plastic pollution' and is also in tandem with a wide array of multi environmental protocols and agreements that our country has ratified.
“We need to keep our villages, towns and cities clean and hygienic, both for this generation and generations to come.”
The Government is racing with time to enforce the cleaning of cities ahead of the full throttle of the rain season in order to avert the thriving of water borne diseases like typhoid and cholera. Without the firm hand of Government, the city of Harare puts much of its energies in providing comfort for its executives albeit using resources pooled from the residents who are in nonstop want of services paid for.
“It is also important for communities, Government institutions, private companies, SMEs, traders and vendors, among others to take responsibility for the state of their immediate vicinity. Communal activities and programmes are also encouraged to help change our mindset around waste management and a clean environment,” said President Mnangagwa.
Annually, Zimbabwe urban areas generate 1.65million tonnes of waste. The majority of this waste ends up in low lying areas which are sadly our sources of fresh water; rivers, dams and wetlands.