The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is set to embark on monthly clean up campaigns as part of efforts to improve cleanliness in the country.
The campaign is set to be officially launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on December 5.
In an interview with CITE, EMA Bulawayo metropolitan provincial manager, Decent Ndlovu, said the program will encompass every citizen aged between 10 and 65 years.
Ndlovu said the program will involve various stakeholders including schools, churches, non-governmental organisations among others in a bid to instill responsibility of keeping the city clean amongst the locals.
“This exercise aims at encouraging citizens to keep their surroundings clean at all times. There are many diseases that are brought about by dirt so regular clean-ups would help in decreasing risks of such outbreaks,” said Ndlovu.
He added: “To ensure and inspect that cleaning is properly done, there are committees that will be working with the cleaning groups. These committees will comprise of representatives from the partaking stakeholders. EMA will be the there to monitor the progress. We expect communities to take full responsibility of cleaning their respective areas.”
Ndlovu said they are working closely with local authorities on this program to ensure litter is properly disposed of after cleaning sessions.
“We will be working closely with the local authorities before and after cleaning. We need to ensure that litter is disposed of efficiently,” he said.
Ndlovu said EMA is maintaining a watchdog role in ensuring there is no luquid waste running in the streets within communities especially in high density suburbs.
“Bulawayo is one the cleanest cities in the country and we hope it maintains that standard. However we cannot ignore the fact that burst sewers are a constant harassment to the mostly high density residents. If such are not attended to, people would be exposed to diseases such as cholera,” he said.
Ndlovu urged local authority to clear illegal dumpsites that have been created by the residents.
“There are also numerous illegal dumpsites that we are trying to engage the city council to clear up. There is one in Makokoba close to St Partrick’s. We have since engaged residents to desist from creating these illegal dumpsites. We also urge them to report burst sewers in the shortest time possible to prevent them from overflowing,” said Ndlovu.