Officials in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Thursday launched an anti-litter campaign seeking to get a handle on the masses of trash which have overwhelmed municipal resources.
Working with the Environmental Management Agency, the Combined Harare Residents Association and Mega Pak, a local refuse company, the city will use the campaign to raise awareness and educate residents on management of solid waste.
The campaign focuses on what officials are calling the three “R’s” - Reduce, Recycle and Reuse - and is intended to address a contributing factor in ongoing outbreaks of typhoid in many of the city's most populous suburbs, spreading to other towns.
Harare City Council Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi told Parliament’s natural resources and environment committee Monday that the city was releasing sewage into its primary water source for lack of treatment capacity, increasing purification costs and health risks.
Combined Harare Residents Association Director Mfundo Mlilo said Harare citizens must participate given their personal stake in ending the typhoid outbreaks.
Waste separation will be one focus of the program, Mlilo said. "Residents have to look at this because not all waste that can be disposed of, there are some things that can they separate and use in places like gardens."
But a Harare resident who requested to be identified only as Musa blamed municipal authorities for failing to collect refuse leading people to dump trash anywhere.
"Everyone is willing to do their part" Musa said. "The city no longer provides trash bins so people just buy their own, which means they are willing to help the city council."