Angela Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
UNCOLLECTED refuse is piling up again in sanitary lanes causing a distinctly unsavoury smell of rotting garbage in some parts of the city centre, barely a week after the Bulawayo City Council’s alley clean-up drive.
Council last week embarked on a clean-up campaign of the city centre and also introduced skip bins in populated areas along 5th Avenue, Renkini Bus Terminus and those close to Egodini Bus Terminus.
The clean-up focused more on sanitary lanes, which have been an eyesore in the central business district for years.
Council also announced that it would be closely monitoring and introducing fines against those that dump waste in sanitary lanes.
Sanitary lanes are designed to provide leeway for service vehicles, such as delivery and garbage collection trucks, but residents, particularly vendors, have been using them as dumping sites due to council’s failure to effectively and timeously collect garbage.
A Chronicle news crew, which toured sanitary lanes around the CBD that were cleaned last week, observed that dumping had resumed in alleys located on busy streets where illegal vending is rife.
A vendor, who declined to be identified, said they had an agreement with the council to dump their garbage in sanitary lanes.
“We have an arrangement with the council and were authorised to put our garbage in these (sanitary) lanes for easy collection and to avoid littering all around.
Everyone here, even those from the supermarkets and nearby shops, dump (their garbage) here,” she said.
However, Bulawayo Deputy Mayor and Ward 1 Councillor Mlandu Ncube denied that such an arrangement exists.
“There is no such arrangement between BCC and anyone.
Refuse around the CBD is collected every two days and under normal circumstances we collect every day, but due to lack of resources, we try to collect in two days,” Clr Mlandu said.
“There is no way that within two days someone could have refuse that cannot be contained in a normal bin to an extent that there has to be an arrangement for them to use sanitary lanes,” he said.
Clr Ncube also revealed that a number of people caught dumping waste in sanitary lanes had been fined, as council continues enforcement of anti-littering by-laws.
“We have added fines onto bills of business owners and we continue to receive a number of reports of people seen dumping garbage and are doing follow ups,” he said.
Bulawayo United Residents’ Association (Bura) chairperson Mr Winos Dube said the reason people dump refuse in sanitary lanes even after the recent clean-up is the lack of waste bins around the city.
“It is wrong for vendors and business owners to dump refuse in these lanes, but at the same time council needs to deliver on the issue of bins.
“At the same time, we all need to take responsibility when it comes to sanity around the city or else any effort made will be pointless if we don’t work towards the same goal,” Mr Dube said.