Enterprising youths collect refuse

Refuse collection is a challenge for Chitungwiza Town Council and some suburbs have not had their refuse collected for the past five weeks.

A group of youths from the area has come in handy is collecting rubbish and dumping it at the designated dumpsite for a small fee.

“Most people would rather have their rubbish collected and dumped for them for a dollar because the bins have not been collected for more than a month and there is rubbish all over the place,” said Farai Mhlanga, 21.

He and his friends now collect refuse from more than 300 households a day. “At first, people did not understand why we were collecting their refuse but because we have persisted, people now call us whenever their rubbish is not collected for a long time,” he said.

Greg Nyanhungwe added “Maggots were all over town and because most people are using borehole water, we realised that with these rains, it was highly likely that there would be a disease outbreak because of this.”

The trio aged between 19 and 24 said the dollar per household was used to buy fuel for the truck that they were using to transport the garbage to the council dumpsite.

“Stray dogs worsened the challenge. They spread the rubbish all over the streets when they search for food in the bins,” said Dereck Nyamande.

Residents commended the trio for coming up with the initiative, saying the youths were not only making money for themselves but contributing towards a clean environment.

“Most of the youths from this area are not employed and it is important for young people to come up with practical interventions that benefit the community and create employment,” said Tilda Muganda from Unit D in Seke.

Priscillar Shanyare from Unit N in Seke, said council still expected residents to pay for services they were failing to provide.

“We will not pay rates because they are not giving us water neither are they collecting rubbish. We would rather pay these youths a $1 and be assured that our rubbish is disposed of. instead of giving council money for them to pay each other hefty salaries,” she said.

Ward 16 councillor, Muchaneta Zemura, said residents were compounding the problem by dumping waste at night in undesignated places such as Unit J shopping centre, Waterland recreational centre, nearby schools and roadsides. “Residents should take responsibility for waste and ensure that they dump their waste at designated places because council needs the support of its residents where it is failing,” she said.

Zemura revealed that council had five trucks to service the whole of Chitungwiza. “The trucks are few and our plea to residents is that they should separate waste at source,” she said. “Failure to practice environment friendly habits affects us and our families. If there is a disease outbreak, council will not be affected by it but citizens that die because of cholera and typhoid,” added the councillor.

She urged shop owners and businesses to invest in the communities where they operate. “If shop- owners help us to keep this town clean, I am sure that together we can make a difference. The problem is that everyone thinks that litter is solely the responsibility of council. We need to work together and promote a clean environment,” said Zemura.

Efforts to get a comment from Chitungwiza town clerk, George Makunde, were futile.

Post published in: News

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