Harare Residents Protest Against City Council’s Neglect

Garbage piles up and smoke pollutes the air in Budiriro suburb as locals demand better services

by Victor Adetimilehin

Residents of Budiriro, a suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, staged a demonstration on Wednesday at the local council offices. They were protesting against the poor garbage collection services and the smoke pollution caused by burning uncollected waste.

Health and environmental hazards

Budiriro is one of Harare’s high-density suburbs, where many people live in low-income housing. The area has been suffering from a lack of basic services, such as water, electricity, and sanitation, for years.

The situation has worsened recently, as the city council has failed to collect garbage regularly, leaving heaps of trash at street corners and parking areas. Some residents have resorted to burning the garbage, creating thick smoke that fills the air and poses health and environmental risks.

Esther Kwembeya, a resident and business owner, said she had to relocate her mother and her children to a safer place because of the smoke. “My mother lives down the line, less than 20 meters from the dump site, and I had to make her move to my sister’s place because of the smoke we are inhaling in our houses and also sent away my kids,” she said.

Government intervention needed

The protesters demanded that the city council improve its service delivery and provide them with a clean and healthy environment. They also called for the government to intervene and hold the council accountable.

The council is led by the opposition Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) party, which has been accused of corruption, mismanagement, and neglecting service delivery in Harare and other urban areas.

Stanley Gama, the head of corporate communications for the city council, said the residents should dump their waste at designated areas and not at illegal sites. He also said the council had removed all illegal dumping sites and cleaned up the surrounding areas during a campaign called Chenesa Harare (Clean Harare) last year.

However, the residents said the campaign was ineffective and short-lived, and that the council had not provided them with adequate alternatives for disposing of their waste.

A better future for Budiriro

Budiriro has the potential to become a vibrant and prosperous suburb, as it has seen some development in recent years. Several companies and individuals have been constructing new and modern houses in the area, changing the perception of Budiriro as a low-income neighborhood.

However, the residents said they need the city council to match their efforts and provide them with the basic services they deserve. They also said they hope the government will step in and help them improve their living conditions.

They said they want to see Budiriro become a clean and green suburb, where they can breathe fresh air and enjoy a better quality of life.

Source: The Herald 

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