Motorists in Harare have expressed concern over the non-removal of dead animals from the city’s roads.
It is common to find dead animals such as dogs and cats left to rot in the middle of the road, posing both driving and health hazards to the public. Some motorists who spoke to Harare News complained that authorities seem to be neglecting their duty of removing dead animals that have been run over by vehicles.
The presence of animals on the roads – either dead or alive – has been identified by traffic authorities as a major cause of accidents on the country’s highways. Taurai Ngwenya (34), a kombi driver who plies the city-Hatfield route said that dead animals on the roads, especially dogs, pose great dangers to motorists due to their size.
“A motorist can be involved in a head-on collision while trying to avoid dead animals. Most hits of stray animals happen at night. In my opinion, those responsible for removing the dead animals should carry out checks every morning,” said Ngwenya.
Another motorist from Greendale who refused to be named concurred with Ngwenya, saying that the danger of animal carcasses on the roads was worse at night due to other creatures that feed on dead animals.
“Owls pounce on the carcasses during the night and this poses an even great danger to drivers as they have to avoid hitting the dead animal and the owl. So I urge the responsible authorities to make sure that they remove animal carcasses from the roads to avoid accidents,” explained the motorist.
Annah Sarangwa (45) from Mbare said that dead animals that are left to rot on the roads also pose health risks to pedestrians and residents in the surrounding areas.
“You find that areas near animal carcasses are impassable due to the odour that is emitted by the rotten animal bodies. Kids are also at risk of getting diseases such as rabies as they might get into contact with the dead animals as they play around,” said Sarangwa.
When contacted for comment Dorothy Mavolwane, the city’s principal customer relations officer, laid the blame of the non-removal of dead animals on roads on residents who do not report the cases to council. Mavolwane added that it was the responsibility of council’s Hazardous Waste Management Section to remove animal carcasses from the roads.
“Council has got two operators who are mandated to remove dead animals from the roads and what is important is for residents to report to us when they find animal carcasses. Sometimes people do not report and these dogs end up rotting,” said Mavolwane.
Mavolwane said that residents should not dump animal carcasses at illegal dump sites as this poses serious health implications to the community, “The hazardous waste section is there and well-capacitated and residents should make use of it by notifying council of any dead animal carcasses.”
Residents and motorists can report cases of road kill on the roads or anywhere in the city to council on the following numbers: Waste Management Hotline: 770339, Mr Sakupwanya 0772 260 475 or send a Whatsapp message to 0774 823 230 or 0732 823 230. Save these in your phone, and take the initiative when you see dead animals along our roads
Image credit: Harry Davies