Harare Council Shifts Refuse Collection To Government As Crisis Deepens

The Harare City Council has officially acknowledged its failure to effectively manage refuse collection in the city, prompting a transfer of responsibility to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.

This decision comes after years of frustration for residents who have endured growing piles of garbage in their neighborhoods despite paying regular fees for refuse collection services.

In a statement issued by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere, it was disclosed that the city council had formally requested central government intervention due to its inability to fulfill the crucial mandate of waste management.

Minister Muswere highlighted the visible signs of this failure, citing widespread heaps of uncollected garbage and the emergence of illegal dumpsites across Harare.

Earlier this year, the government initiated “Operation Chenesa Harare” to combat the dire hygiene conditions exacerbated by the uncollected waste, which had contributed to health hazards such as cholera outbreaks. The operation successfully cleared over 250,000 tonnes of garbage initially, but subsequent reports indicated a resurgence of dumpsites in previously cleared areas following the conclusion of the first phase.

Dr Muswere emphasized that despite the council’s collection of rates specifically designated for waste management and the existence of legislative provisions supporting such functions, the local authority consistently failed to establish functional systems for solid waste management.

In response to the ongoing crisis, the government has launched the second phase of “Operation Chenesa Harare,” aiming to address the resurgence of dumpsites and improve overall waste management.

Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Daniel Garwe, stressed that while the operation provided a temporary solution, a more sustainable approach was necessary. He underscored the need for medium to long-term strategies to ensure effective waste management across Harare.

With the Ministry now overseeing waste collection efforts, residents hope for a more reliable and sustainable solution to the longstanding issue of garbage accumulation in the city.

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