Govt deplores nationwide poor sanitation amid cholera outbreak
HARARE: The Zimbabwean government Wednesday deplored poor sanitation across the country amid a cholera outbreak and announced a raft of measures to address solid waste management challenges.
In a media briefing after the cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere attributed the poor sanitation, particularly in urban areas, to incompetence and negligence in collecting and managing solid waste disposal by local authorities.
The minister said the central government has made various interventions to address the issue, not least by introducing a national clean-up campaign in 2018 and declaring a state of disaster in the capital Harare in August this year.
“An emergency solid waste management program is currently being implemented under the State of Disaster declaration. However, noting that the mismanagement of solid waste persists, Cabinet has approved the following measures to curb the unsustainable accumulation of the waste,” Muswere said.
Among the measures, the minister stressed legislation, which will be introduced to make national cleanup campaigns compulsory for all governments and private institutions, including the introduction of fines for public littering and education campaigns to raise public awareness.
“Long-term measures include increasing waste recycling business and introduction of levies to deter the import of materials such as plastic products whose management of post-consumer use is problematic,” Muswere said.
He said learning programs will also be added to the school curriculum on cleanliness and waste management.
Poor sanitation has resulted in frequent outbreaks of diseases in the country. Currently, an outbreak of cholera occurred in some parts of Zimbabwe, including the capital Harare.