Mbare residents tackle waste problem

Top Stories Zimbabwe

Fatima Karuweni
RESIDENTS of Mbare, the oldest suburb in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, have found a way to turn waste into treasure. With no regular refuse collections, Mbare is awash with rubbish.

Open drains and dump sites in the area are clogged with plastic bags and empty tin cans. But the residents, with the help of Rio Zim and Team Up to Clean Up Mbare, are waking up to the problem. They are turning the trash into money, creating jobs for themselves.

They separate waste at source for recycling to reduce pollution and health risks in the area. The waste is sorted and sold to recycling companies.

Rio Zim Foundation is a diverse Zimbabwean mining company, and Team up to Clean up Mbare is a non-profit making organization that focuses on waste management within the Mbare community.

The two organisations have teamed up with Mbare residents to rid the suburb of litter in order to have a clean and disease free environment. In the past, mountains of trash filled streets in the suburb, but the clean-up programme is changing all this.

Mbare, a thriving economic hub, is home to Harare’s largest vegetable market and this creates problems of waste management for the city. The situation is worsened by residents who dump rubbish in open spaces and the irregular collection of waste by council. This has sparked some health
concerns and Rio Zim and Team Up to Clean Up Mbare have responded to the distress call.

Tanaka Urayai, the Team Up to Clean Up Mbare Projects Coordinator, said recycling is creating jobs in the area and they are hoping the programme will expand to all parts of the suburb.

“With the thrust of our theme “Waste separation at source” we are able to reduce solid waste going to waste and turn it for recycling. Some youths are benefiting,” Urayai said.

Ruvimbo Mirione, a Mbare resident, is elated. “I am very excited about the waste management disposal as it is creating employment for the youths
as well as helping to improve the environment,” Mirione said.

Citizens and organisations have embraced the national clean-up programme launched by the government in November 2018 to create a clean and healthy environment.