A major health hazard is looming in Bulawayo due to uncollected garbage piling up in most high-density suburbs and undesignated points in the city centre.
Most high-density suburbs now have illegal dumpsites, due to the local authority’s failure to collect refuse frequently and efficiently.
Some areas in the city centre, such as Basch Street terminus, popularly known as Egodini, have become an eyesore with heaps of illegally dumped waste.
Coordinator for Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association, Rodrick Fayayo said in a statement yesterday residents feared a major disease outbreak.
“We fear that the cholera scourge could hit the city again if something is not done,” he said.
Council spokesperson Nesisa Mpofu said they were mobilising resources to address the problem and urged residents to cooperate with the local authority.
“Council is aware of the illegal dumpsites in and around the city. We are also aware of the residents’ concerns and fears. We are currently working on a programme to collect all refuse at various dumpsites, including those in suburbs,” she said.
“We are also appealing to residents to assist us and make sure that they follow the monthly timetable of refuse collections.”
Decomposing garbage and other solid waste can provide food and habitat for rats, other rodents and disease vectors, which ultimately can cause a serious health hazard to the public.
In 2008, Bulawayo reportedly experienced a rodent population explosion as a result of illegal dumping of garbage.