Talent Gore

COMMUTERS in Harare have resorted to look for transport at undesignated bus stops due to the garbage piling at designated bus termini.

The Harare City Council has turned bus termini in the Central Business District into dumpsites by failing to collect garbage regularly.

Heaps of waste have become an all-too familiar sight around Harare, covering nearly all open spaces. 

In central Harare, massive landfills have built up in areas such as Chinhoyi Street (Copacabana), Market Square bus terminus and along Leopold Takawira Street and Bank Street near Bata.

Commuters and bus drivers say this has forced people to go to undesignated places for transport.

A commuter omnibus driver, Simbarashe Hwata, said the garbage was driving away potential customers.

“Many potential customers are now avoiding the bus terminus areas due to the filthy environment, leading to reduced sales for commuter omnibuses,” he said.

“We have called the district officer several times for help and nothing has materialised. This a serious health hazard and a problem for the residents as even diapers are being thrown on the illegal dumpsites.”

A city resident, Tendai Garwe, said commuters were also to blame for the garbage.

“The city fathers must make sure rubbish is collected regularly, especially in the CBD, where the streets have become zvese zvese markets at night,” he said.

“However, on the contrary, we are also to blame as well, we have a culture of throwing trash everywhere, even if trash bins are provided. I see people throwing garbage through their cars or bus windows. 

“It’s really really bad. Mafume (the Mayor) should visit Rwanda and take notes of how they manage to keep their cities clean.”

Council spokesperson, Stanley Gama, acknowledged the resurgence of illegal dumps and assured residents that efforts were underway to address the issue. 

“We acknowledge that refuse is accumulating in the city and we will be collecting the refuse ward by ward.  

“We are purchasing 15 refuse compactors to collect refuse in the city and currently we are hiring equipment to collect refuse, pending the arrival of our compactors. 

“We are now also arresting people who are found dumping refuse everywhere and shop owners, who are dumping refuse at skip bins in the city centre, because they are meant for individuals.”

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