City of Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume has implored the central government to ban plastics and put in place policies that encourage recycling of waste.

He was responding to calls by residents to solve the issue of waste management in the capital.

One resident had asked how soon was the city going to solve the garbage problem at Copacabana.

“Copacabana right now Nauseated face Mafume i know you got back into the office recently, but this is a recipe for disaster. How soon can this be dealt with?” Asked the resident.

In his response yesterday, the mayor said action was being taken;

“As promised the issue has been addressed, will be completed during the week. This work has been done today.

“We need a new policy for dealing with waste as Harare residents. We also need central government to ban plastics and develop are cycling culture.

“Waste is wealth.”

Meanwhile, according to a study titled; ‘A Situational Analysis of Waste Management in Harare, Zimbabwe’ by University of Zimbabwe academics, waste management has emerged as one of the greatest challenges facing Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe.

The study revealed that the volume of waste being generated continues to increase at a faster rate than the ability of the city authorities to improve on the financial and technical resources needed to parallel this growth.

Although waste removal is one of the most pressing problems in Harare, it is not a new problem. It was established that the seeds of the apparent chaos in the governance of waste in Harare were laid during the colonial period.

Despite many ordinances the colonialists put in place to strengthen urban administration, they regarded native suburbs as areas for a cheap and easily controlled labour force, and therefore, made no serious efforts to resolve the emerging problems, particularly those of waste management.

The current authority is struggling to manage the waste under tight budgets; highly inadequate and malfunctioning equipment; inefficient collection practices with variable levels of service, poor and unhygienic operating practices; including no environmental control systems; open burning of garbage; indiscriminate illegal dumping and littering; and a public with seemingly little sensitivity to the garbage around them or any awareness of what represents responsible waste management.

Harare’s waste management system needs serious rehabilitation, first on an emergency basis, followed by development and implementation of long-term sustainable measures.