By Mugandayi T.W
If one is to move within the two country’s major cities of Harare and Bulawayo, one cannot possibly escape the tormenting unhealthy conditions they exist in.
Papers from used food products from major companies in the country along with other land pollutants dominate the streets and roads.
Running water from burst water pipes make the situation worse and very disheartening. Intoxicating car exhausts fumes and smoke from unnecessarily burning tyres and other air intoxicating industrial fumes have strangely been accepted as the air to breath within these cities.
Under such circumstances, the conflicting questions focus on who is to blame for the pollution of the cities?
Who is responsible for wellbeing of their residents?
And what should be done to better their existing states?
As simple as these questions are, they are faced with many different responses that usually and eventually lead to no action being taken towards the betterment of the two valued cities.
The responses would reasonably base responsibility and blame on the citizens and their Government, which is reasonably true, but to end such matters with words that lead to no action is usually the major cause in the deterioration of the health of these city environments.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has taken necessary actions to try and create a clean, safe and healthy environment through declaring every first Friday of every month to be a National clean-up day for the country.
However, this move has clearly been poorly implemented and adhered to as clearly shown by the nature of waste that is still accumulating within Harare and Bulawayo, leading to the question of where the major problem exactly lies ?
The frequent answer raised towards this question by the population of Zimbabwe would dominantly fall on the poor state of the country’s economy, which is true to a certain extent.
Poor investments are being given to the waste disposal sector of the country as clearly witnessed by some strikes from workers within the sector.
This serves to prove and show that indeed the economy plays a pivotal role in the affairs of the environmental health of the nation.
Such matters that focus on the poor state of the economy always lead to the blame falling on the Government, which has to some extent neglected some of its responsibilities in the well-being of the two cities.
This however, should not be considered as the only reason to support the unhealthy state of the two cities.
Locals have a responsibility in maintaining clean environments.
Locals need to consider the impacts of an unclean environment on their health and wellbeing, and this should motivate them enough to keep and sustain a clean environment.
Without a clean environment, disease outbreaks such as those of cholera, diarrhoea and typhoid are inevitable.
Furthermore, as a result of air pollution, people might suffer from breathing problems, heart and lung problems.
he mantra ‘cleanliness begins at home’ is a statement which should be effectively appreciated by the citizens of the two cities in order for them to live harmoniously with their city environments.