Lumbidzani Dima, Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO residents have decried the plan by Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to penalise litter bugs without placing enough bins around the city.
The local authority is planning to tighten the noose on littering and is in the process of engaging the Government to impose deterrent fines.
However, moving around streets in Bulawayo’s city centre yesterday, showed that council has seemingly put the cart before the horse as residents questioned why it has come up with an ambitious drive to keep the city clean under the theme iBulawayo ehlanzekileyo ayibuye without first providing bins.
Along 6th Avenue, it is not easy for pedestrians to pass near a bin and people, mostly vendors have resorted to dumping litter in sanitary lanes.
Sanitary lanes are designed to provide leeway for service vehicles such as delivery and garbage collection trucks, but the situation in the city has become an eyesore.
A Chronicle news crew also observed that when some BCC workers clean some streets, they also throw the garbage in sanitary lanes and disused buildings.
One such disused building that is now being used as dumping ground is located at the corner of Joshua Nkomo street and 11th Avenue.
A Bulawayo resident Mr Abraham Ndlovu who “operates” near the building said council should lead by example, as it is telling people to keep the city clean when its actions are contributing to littering.
“There are BCC workers who sweep streets around, and we see them throwing garbage in sanitary lanes, which is not right. What happens when wind comes is that the very garbage, especially papers which they would have thrown away, will come back to the streets.
“They cannot tell us to pay fines without rectifying their mistakes first. The only way for people to adhere to anti-littering rules is for council to lead by example, and place bins everywhere,” he said.
Chronicle came across a city council employee throwing garbage in a sanitary lane along 11th avenue between Herbert Chitepo and Fort Street.
Ms Precious Ncube, a vendor near Egodini said they clean the area on their own and pile garbage in a corner where council collects it but sometimes it goes uncollected for days.
“We pile all the garbage in one place which we chose on our own because there are no bins around here. If council really wants to implement the issue of fining and arresting people who litter around, they should first place bins in every corner of the CBD,” she said.
Also, due to lack of adequate public toilets, some people relieve themselves in sanitary lanes or behind trees.
The Chronicle news crew yesterday visited City Hall, and observed that the public toilets where council charges Z$5 were clean while those where entry is free were dirty.
The ones near the Revenue Hall have been closed for decades.
Bulawayo Residents Progressive Association chairperson, Mr Ambrose Sibindi said it is not debatable that more toilets need to be constructed in the city centre especially in vending areas.
“A toilet should be the first thing to be constructed wherever there are people. We need more toilets free of charge as there are some people who cannot afford,” he said.
Mr Sibindi, however welcomed the move to fine litter bugs.
“We are all aware that Bulawayo was regarded as the cleanest city in the country and outside, but people have started disregarding environmental laws by littering everywhere. People have been educated on anti-littering but they do not listen, we have lost our dignity as a city,” he said.
“It is currently the rainy season and the garbage thrown all over is blocking drainages. Therefore, the city council is coming out right, that’s a welcome move, they should make people who throw litter everywhere pay fines.”