Government intensifies waste management efforts in urban areas

Staff Reporter

The Government has initiated a series of vigilant measures for effective solid waste management in several urban areas, focusing on financial investment and comprehensive clearing of waste dumps.

This development was disclosed in yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing by the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Jenfan Muswere.

According to Minister Muswere, "The nation is being informed that the Emergency Solid Waste Management Programme is a response to the deplorable state of management in the Harare Metropolitan Province. Treasury released the first tranche of scheduled three equal releases of US $700,000 on 23rd October 2023. As at 8 November 2023, a cumulative total of 1083 illegal dumps have been cleared, translating to 54% of the target."

The Government's focused areas include densely populated regions like Chitungwiza, Ruwa, and Epworth.

Minister Muswere outlined the targets, stating, "The main focus in the next six weeks will be to clear all remaining dumps, with a target to clear following waste dumps: 10 per day in Harare, 9 per day in Chitungwiza, 2 per day in Epworth, and 2 per day in Ruwa.”

In addition to waste clearance, the Government is also boosting the capabilities of state parastatals in waste management.

Minister Muswere added, “The nation is being informed that Government has directed CMED to assess all trucks, tippers, tractors, and compactors in the four local authorities that require repairs with a view to cutting down the costs of hiring equipment.”

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has played a crucial role, transferring funds to CMED for vehicle repairs and formulating a solid waste collection schedule to be implemented from 13 November 2023.

The Minister noted, “The target is to collect solid waste at least once per week at each household.”

Further initiatives include making communities more accessible for waste collection and mandating local authorities to allocate specific funds for waste management.

“All local authorities have been directed to ring-fence funds levied for waste collection, and the funds be utilized for that purpose. The same local authorities have been further directed to ensure that each business premise has a bin, and that the frontages of the premises are kept clean,” said Minister Muswere.

Moreover, the Government is addressing water sanitation issues in the CBD and Harare towns, with a focus on the Morton Jeffrey Waterworks, which has been cited for mismanagement by the Harare City Council, impacting public health.