City of Harare has tightened anti-littering efforts through recently introduced measures that arrest and fine litterbugs.
According to statistics from the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), 780 people have been arrested for littering since the start of a campaign named, “My City, My Pride” in December. The city’s acting monitoring and evaluation manager Dorothy Mavolwane said that the aim of the campaign is to push residents to play a part in keeping the city clean.
“My City, My Pride has a three-pronged approach which includes education and awareness, enforcement, and stakeholder participation. Our litter bylaws under review so we are using the Environmental Management Act chapter 20.27 and statutory instrument 52 of 2011 to enforce anti-littering,” said Mavolwane.
In 2014 the city embarked on a volunteer anti-litter monitor training program to get community participation in managing waste. So far 2,000 residents from Mabvuku/Tafara, Mufakose, Sunningdale, Warren Park, Dzivarasekwa, Budiriro, Borrowdale, and Mbare have been trained to be anti-litter monitors in their neighbourhoods.
“Anti-litter monitors have no arresting powers. What they do is that they take note of litter bugs then inform us or EMA so that we make the arrests. Individuals caught littering are fined $20 each while companies and shops are charged up to $5,000 for dumping litter,” said Mavolwane.
Council provides anti-litter monitors with training, reflective vests with numbers for identification purposes, gloves, brooms, and bins. Mavolwane also said that the anti-litter monitors were also helping to clean up communities by educating other residents on issues of waste management.
In response, residents have been largely in favour of these anti-littering efforts by council. Peter Phiri (27) from Mbare noted that anti-litter monitors were very effective in his community.
“Anti-litter monitors are doing a good job, but council should complement this by carrying out regular waste collection in order to avoid littering. As residents we should also play our part by not dumping litter at undesignated points,” said Phiri.
Other residents such as Sipiwe Mutambo (40) from Highfield believe that the efforts of anti-littering programs were in vain due to non-collection of litter by council.
“Anti-litter monitoring by residents and the arresting of litterbugs is good, but council is not playing its part to complement these efforts. There are inadequate bins in town which leaves residents with no option but to litter. Authorities should address the issue of bins, especially in the CBD, before arresting litterbugs,” says Mutambo.
Image credit: Farai Dauramanzi