WINTER is gone, and very soon the Summer rains will be upon us bringing with them an array of challenges related to litter and waterborne diseases.
We urge Harare City Council to give ratepayers value for money by clearing the mounds of festering garbage that have become a common feature on nearly all open spaces in the high and low-density suburbs.
The city should also consider clearing blocked sewer pipes as this will go a long way in drying some of the streams of raw sewage that become a health hazard in many suburbs.
A two-pronged surface and subterranean sanitary approach will go a long way in ensuring that Harare moves to regain its enviable sunshine city status of old.
But most importantly, the move towards improved sanitation will ensure that communicable diseases like the cholera and typhoid outbreaks that afflicted parts of the city in recent times, become a thing of the past.
Residents need a refuse collection time-table for all suburbs to ensure that all refuse is collected and disposed of in designated dump sites.
The mounds of garbage accumulated in alleyways in the central business district and open spaces in the suburbs, need attention.
The refuse clearing process should be coupled with the distribution of plastic refuse bins.
This is what a responsible council that levies residents for services should do, and we are sure ratepayers can happily part with their money when they get the requisite services.
However, the responsibility of keeping the City clean vests in all residents, who should play a part by ensuring that refuse is not strewn around, but is deposited where it belongs, the litter bin.
To this end we urge the city fathers to ensure that the pavements are lined with litter-bins at regular intervals so that people find somewhere to dispose of their litter.
We urge councillors to conduct awareness campaigns in their wards to discourage residents from depositing foreign objects in the sewer reticulation system. The city may also need to consider a blitz against litterbugs, particularly as a similar campaign; a few years back had begun paying dividends before dying an inexplicable death.
We salute the various organisations that have taken it upon themselves to launch clean-up campaigns in and around the city, and urge them to embark on such campaigns on a regular basis.
The corporate sector can also buy-in by adopting particular streets, like what the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe did with Robert Mugabe Road and Julius Nyerere Way back in 2003, which they pledged to keep clean.
Harare is our capital city, and we all have a part to play in ensuring its cleanliness.