URBAN and rural councils should use devolution funds to gradually build up the equipment they need to collect and manage waste, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said yesterday.
Speaking in Banket where he led a clean up, VP Chiwenga, who was accompanied by some Cabinet ministers, said although it was difficult to buy what was needed at once, the Government expected councils to prioritise the equipment.
The VP led the clean-up at Kuwadzana Shopping Centre before planting a Sausage Tree/Mvee at Banket Town Board Centre.
“I was informed in the briefing that councils were lacking equipment to deal with waste management,” he said. “We expect councils to use part of the money disbursed to them under devolution funds to purchase what is needed for waste management.
“Although it could be a difficult task to purchase what is needed at once, we expect urban and rural councils to have refuse compactors and other machinery required for waste management.”
All councils have been boosted by devolution funds, which are disbursed annually by the Government for capital programmes.
They have used the funds to extend clinic and school networks, road construction and maintenance equipment while some have bought refuse compactors.
VP Chiwenga, who is also Health and Child Care Minister, said the Government expected the nation to observe the National Environment Cleaning Day on the first Friday of each month to provide the focus for work to protect and promote a clean environment.
“If we fail to protect our environment, we would have done injustice to the upcoming generations who are the future leaders and world’s occupants. For us to be healthy, we should take good care of our environment.
“Our communities should embrace recycling and help use non-biodegradable components like plastic for manufacturing of PVC pipes used for water reticulation and agriculture purposes. A lot of industries across the world are ticking up as a result of plastic renewal.
“Women and youths should engage the Environment Management Agency in waste management and recycling to make a living. In all our towns, we want to generate electricity from waste using state-of-the-art machinery which in turn will help us grow our economy,” said VP Chiwenga.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland West Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said the province had conducted 3 275 clean-up exercises since 2018.
In Matabeleland North, organisations continued to clean around their premises and towns.
Tourism stakeholders in Victoria Falls came up with the Pristine Victoria Falls Initiative last year, where each company adopted a section of the city from the Victoria Falls border area to the Victoria Falls International Airport to keep the city clean.
Staff from the organisations cleaned their sections yesterday. Workers from the newly opened Engen service station cleaned a section of Livingstone Way, adjacent to the service station and Sawanga Mall while learners from Fountain College in Aerodrome cleaned behind Cresta Sprayview Hotel up to Livingstone Way.
Hwange Colliery Company led the clean-up in its area, which was attended by other stakeholders such as EMA, Green Shango Environment Trust, Government departments and others in the town.
They started cleaning at Number 1 Bus Terminus into Lwendulu suburb and along the road towards the truck stop. The area is often affected by flooding which has been blamed on blocking of storm drains by garbage.
The Judicial Service Commission and other stakeholders cleaned the area around the Hwange Magistrates Court and Compensation House.
In Mashonaland East, the clean-up was conducted at Wedza Centre where people from Government departments, the business community and learners participated.
Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland East Mr Tavabarira Kutamahufa led the exercise.
Mr Kutamahufa later read a speech by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland East, Aplonia Munzverengwi, who called for an inclusive approach towards cleaning the environment.
“Let it be everyone’s responsibility to make sure that our environment is clean. Cleanliness is one of the major practices of good health,” said Minister Munzverengwi.
“It can prevent people from life threatening communicable diseases such as typhoid and cholera. There is a lot of consumption around some business centres such as Wedza, Goto and Dendenyore, hence the need to properly manage waste from all types of food and drink packaging.
“I urge all members of the public to desist from indiscriminately dumping waste in open spaces, storm drains and any undesignated areas causing land pollution. It is my plea that all local authorities provide adequate solid waste disposal facilities at strategic points.”