Health hazard looms in Mbare

Michael Chideme

Michael Chideme

Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
The onset of rains has created a health hazard at Mbare Musika where heaps of fermenting uncollected garbage now lie uncollected and festering.

The vendors are selling their wares in filthy conditions.

Vendors say garbage has not been collected for close on three months now.

There were flies everywhere and garbage was strewn all over the place.

The vendors who sell a variety of products from vegetables, fruit, fresh chips, mealie-cobs (boiled and roasted) are appealing to council to urgently dispatch refuse collection trucks to Mbare Musika, warning that any delay could lead to catastrophe.

The Herald visited Mbare Musika recently and saw vendors and taxi drivers operating in unhygienic conditions.

They said they had no option as they needed to raise money for the festive season.

“There is a lot of dirt in this place but this is our market place, we have nowhere else to go. We also worry about disease outbreaks but at the end of the day we have to sell in order to get some money which we can use to fend for our families.

“At this moment we are faced with New Year’s celebrations and in order to celebrate with others, one needs money. Besides, school fees for our children will also need to be paid in January next year,” said a fast food vendor who identified himself as amuka Dongo.

Another vendor pleaded with the city council to address the problem urgently.

“Our major challenge in this area is the garbage that has not been collected for close to three months now. The greater part of Mbare Musika and surrounding households come and dump their garbage at this market place.

“Passage of buses is now difficult as the road has been narrowed by the trash and there is no longer freedom of movement for both traffic and humans.

“We are pleading with the city council that they come and attend to this critical situation before things get out of hand,” said Ms Betty Musima as she roasted her mealies.

City principal communications officer Mr Michael Chideme said they would urgently attend to the matter.

“We are attending to the garbage situation in Mbare immediately. The major issue that has been affecting efficient service delivery is lack of funding,” he said.

“Some of our refuse trucks have broken down. They need repairs and we are also looking at purchasing more trucks for garbage collection in the long run so as to improve on service de- livery.”

He added: “The city is owed in excess of $400 million and so we are urging our residents and the vendors to pay up their dues so that we will be able to provide them with such services efficiently.”

Early this year, Buhera South Legislator Cde Joseph Chinotimba used his parliamentary vehicle to collect garbage from the streets of Mbare, a gesture which he said was necessary in helping keep the country clean.

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