Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
Harare City Council has commissioned refuse trucks and road maintenance equipment bought under the $30 million loan facility accessed from local banks for recapitalisation.
The city bought 30 refuse compactors from one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturing companies, FAW Group Corporation, for $3,1 million and the first nine trucks were delivered, together with five rollers worth $546 000.
More pieces of equipment, which include 10 skip trucks, 10 tipper trucks, three graders, one chip spreader, one jet patcher, 25 utility trucks and the outstanding compactors, were said to be at various stages of delivery.
Launching the various pieces of service delivery equipment, Harare mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni said brand Harare had been suffering because of uncollected garbage and bad roads, but the city was on a mission to revive it through reigniting the sunshine city status.
“The refuse equipment delivered so far consists of six 20-tonner compactors and three 12-tonners,” he said. “As you are noticing, we have increased the tonnage of our trucks because we want to increase the amount of waste we cart to the dump site, thereby reduce the number of trips to Pomona (dump site).
“These trucks will be deployed to the zones and will be managed by our zonal teams, together with the communities serviced by the trucks. These trucks belong to the residents, implying that there should be strictly community policing against abuse of these assets.”
Clr Manyenyeni said the city’s roads were in bad shape, principally because the city did not have enough resources to attend to the road network and the city had started recapitalisation of the department of works to ensure availability of equipment.
Environment Management Committee chairperson Clr Herbert Gomba said the city was happy to receive the equipment as it would restate the city’s commitment to improve service delivery through capacitation of departments.
“In the coming months you will see our council reviving all roads depots closed last year due to lack of staff and equipment in order to promote the decentralisation concept through availability of resources needed for refuse and roads works,” he said.
FAW, which is one of the “Big Four” Chinese automakers alongside Changan Automobile, Dongfeng Motor, and SAIC Motor, was represented by its operations director Mr Patrick Masocha, who reiterated his company’s intentions to set up a plant in the country.
Harare last beefed up its fleet of refuse collection trucks in 2010 and has not been able to provide proper service to the vehicles. Each truck is operating for an average of 18 hours every day, thereby leading to frequent breakdowns.
Residents are now forced to dump waste on street corners. Government, in May, approved a request by Harare City Council to borrow $30 million to buy additional refuse trucks and equipment for road maintenance.
The money is also set to be used to revamp parks and cemeteries, capacitate the city’s architect, waste management, Harare Municipal Police, traffic law enforcement and valuation, and estates, among other departments.