Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa yesterday presided over the first clean-up campaign for 2020 at Kuwadzana 2 Shopping Centre in Harare, with this year’s focus being on the removal of illegal waste dumps in residential areas.
The theme for the exercise is “Clean-up and beyond.”
Yesterday’s clean-up was the 13th since the campaign was launched in December 2018 and the President witnessed the clearing of an illegal dump at the shopping centre.
In his address while introducing the President, Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said the clearing of the dump was part of a wider national programme.
He thanked the President for taking part in every clean-up since the launch of the programme.
“This year in 2020 on the 3rd of January, our first clean-up campaign you have led in launching what we call ‘Clean-up and beyond,’ where we remove illegal dumps.
“This programme will be cascaded to all provinces, to all local authorities, because from these illegal dumps diseases spread and from these illegal dumps our water is polluted. We want to thank you Your Excellency for this vision,” Minister Ndlovu said.
In his remarks, the President said hygiene started at individual level.
“It is now a year since we launched this national programme to clean up our country every first Friday of the month.
“However, this programme to clean up the country should start with every one of us as individuals. You can only have a clean environment when you are smart and hygienic as an individual.
“When you are smart as an individual, it will cascade to your household and your community,” President Mnangagwa said.
He said the destruction of the environment was not God’s plan but was a result of human activity.
“You should, therefore, find ways of collecting all the litter and refuse that you generate in your daily activities so that you have clean environments in our communities,” the President added.
President Mnangagwa also told the crowd that when he was appointed Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities by former president Robert Mugabe, he initiated a programme for the construction of Blair toilets in rural areas.
“That was meant to ensure that we have clean environments and through that programme we ensured that most households in rural areas had Blair toilets. Therefore, every community should have properly
designated areas to keep their waste to prevent the spread of diseases,” President Mnangagwa added.
The President acknowledged that most local authorities were facing challenges in collecting refuse but urged them to be innovative in dealing with the situation.
He said, ideally, councils should provide bins for refuse collection but for various reasons ranging from inadequate resources or incompetence in some cases, this was not happening.
“However, councils can designate identified places where residents can place their refuse for easier collection so that waste is not dumped everywhere,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister Ndlovu said the clean-up campaigns would be cascaded to other provinces in line with the President’s vision to decentralise commemorations and celebrations of national events.
“We also want to thank you for the signal that you have given this nation that when we celebrate national programmes, they are not Harare programmes as you have indicated that the 2020 national Independence Day celebrations will not be held in Harare. We will also be cascading the national clean-up campaign to other provinces taking heed of your guidance. We are inspired by what we have seen in Harare, Harare has become cleaner and cleaner,” he said.