BULAWAYO residents have embraced clean-up campaigns with the latest being dubbed Big Spring Cleaning spearheaded by council that seeks to restore the city’s status as one of the cleanest.
Mayor David Coltart has expressed concern over litterbugs, saying the city is now too dirty.
Bulawayo was once touted as the cleanest city in the country.
However, the central business district is now an eyesore.
Tonderai Shoko, who has been organising clean-up campaigns in the city, emphasised the need for more awareness campaigns to get the support of every stakeholder, including children.
“When we used to cycle to school it, used to be beautiful and green but people have lost that identity of the town. They are just littering everywhere,” Shoko said.
“We are trying to educate people that just after a clean-up there must be a follow up and education for people so that they are told that staying in an unclean environment will attract diseases such as cholera.”
Recently, council introduced a US$30 spot fine for offences linked to littering.
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“It is an offense to urinate or defecate in a public place and this can lead to a fine of US$30,” council said.
Other offences linked to littering include open air worship, car washing in city parking lots and street cooking and vending.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairperson, Ambrose Sibindi, said: “We support the efforts by the mayor to restore the city to its glory days where it was known as the cleanest city not only in Southern Africa.”
Coltart implored residents to play their part to make Bulawayo clean.
“We know that this is a beautiful city. But we are all responsible,” he said.
“It’s just the same way we are responsible for its decline, we can be a part of transforming it.”
Coltart said he has also engaged businesses as well as schools to embrace the clean-up campaigns.
“I have asked headmasters to consider adjusting their syllabus to focus on matters that can be taken for people themselves to be conscious of the need not to litter,” he said.
“We have implemented measures to encourage people not to dump, encouraging businesses to sponsor bins, and adopt some parts of the city.
“It involves trying to decongest the city by moving vendors to more attractive areas both to themselves and the city.”