The November issue of Harare News is on the streets, so go out and find yourself a copy!
This month is a bit of a ‘burning’ issue. Last month Dr Lisa Marabini wrote in to us and expressed her dismay at what she called “the nation of pyromaniacs.” Any waste that can be burnt, it seems, is set on fire – whether or not it can be made into something else, turned into compost for much needed fertility or put in a bag to be dealt with by the correct authorities.
As a friend pointed out, we aren’t even alarmed anymore when we smell burning. It’s become a regular event to see smoke coming from a neighbour’s plot, even though the Fire Station needs to be notified and there is only a short window during the day when home fires can burn. Anger and irritation has replaced alarm at the smell of fires, and the regular choking feeling as we breathe has become normality.
It was ironic that as we turned our attention to this, one of the worst fires at the Pomona Dump took hold, spewing toxic smoke into the air that we breathe. It’s now been all but put out, thanks to the hard work of the Council and other players who stepped up to the emergency. But as Bev Reeler poetically writes, we need to be thinking more about the consequences of our consumption and its resulting waste – we publish her poem on page 16 of the paper.
That’s why it was heartening to learn of the concerted effort of the Minister of Environment, the Anglican Church and their youth association and other environmental groups to do a mega clean up of our city. Of course this is dealing with the end result rather than the cause. But His Worship, Bernard Manyenyeni, who we introduce you to this month, is working on this. He says we need to work on a mindset change, which must occur amongst the residents of this city if we are to restore its sunshine status.
The issue of litter and burning in Harare can feel overwhelming but if we think of ways to deal with them in an inclusive encouraging way, there’s a good likelihood that the alternatives will lead to a stronger – and cleaner – community.
Read these stories and lots more in issue five. If you can’t get your copy this month (yes, we know, 10,000 go very fast), keep reading our website where we publish daily for your enjoyment. If you want to get in touch with us to tell us about people and events happening in your city, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.