Govt slams coun­cil’s 48-hr ul­ti­ma­tum on ven­dors

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Sa­man­tha Chi­gogo Her­ald Cor­re­spon­dent

GOVERN­MENT yes­ter­day con­demned the Harare City Coun­cil’s 48-hour ul­ti­ma­tum on food ven­dors to move off the streets un­der the pre­text to curb the spread of ty­phoid, say­ing ban­ning the ven­dors with­out im­prov­ing on ser­vice de­liv­ery was a waste of time and re­sources.

En­vi­ron­ment, Wa­ter and Cli­mate Min­is­ter Cde Op­pah Muchin­guri-Kashiri said in an in­ter­view that poor ser­vice de­liv­ery by the lo­cal au­thor­ity had con­trib­uted to the spread of sev­eral wa­ter bone diseases.

Min­is­ter Muchin­guri-Kashiri said food ven­dors alone should not be the main fo­cus, as there were nec­es­sary steps that the city coun­cil had to do to per­ma­nently avert the out­break and rapid spread of wa­ter borne diseases.

“We need a cock­tail of so­lu­tions if we are ever go­ing to win the war against ven­dors and en­vi­ron­ment haz­ards across the coun­try,” she said. “There is no harm that ven­dors in their own right cause and giv­ing them a 48-hour ul­ti­ma­tum should be one of the many so­lu­tions.

“It all boils down to ser­vice de­liv­ery, right from in­ad­e­quate toi­let fa­cil­i­ties, bins, in­di­vid­ual lit­ter­ing, all this needs to be catered for, hence it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean all blame is on the food ven­dors.”

Min­is­ter Muchin­guri-Kashiri said the 48-hour ul­ti­ma­tum that ends to­day could only be used to avert the im­me­di­ate cri­sis, not a long term sus­tain­able plan.

She be­moaned poor drainage fa­cili- ties across the coun­try, say­ing there was need to widen the net of so­lu­tions to deal with pop­u­la­tion growth and poor ur­ban plan­ning.

“Un­der­ground wa­ter con­tam­i­na­tion is high and coun­cil should en­sure sprout­ing lo­ca­tions have sewer sys­tems and good ablu­tion ser­vices, they should put mech­a­nisms to deal with pop­u­la­tion growth or else en­vi­ron­men­tal health hazard re­mains a prob­lem,” Min­is­ter Muchin­guri-Kashiri said.

“Coun­cil needs to be up to scratch in deal­ing with the im­pact of pop­u­la­tion growth, they should po­si­tion them­selves to deal with de­mands that come with pop­u­la­tion growth, in­clud­ing more toi­lets, well kept drainage sys­tems and good waste man­age­ment plans.”

Min­is­ter Muchin­guri-Kashiri said with over 60 000 lit­ter­bugs that were fined in the past year, Govern­ment poli­cies should be taken se­ri­ously to avoid the so­ci­ety’s ig­no­rance on lit­ter­ing to curb health and en­vi­ron­men­tal health haz­ards.

Di­rec­tor in the Min­istry of Health and Child Care re­spon­si­ble for Epi­demi­ol­ogy and Dis­ease Con­trol Dr Portia Manangazira said in an in­ter­view that the out­break was an in­di­ca­tion of se­ri­ous un­hy­gienic con­di­tions that needed ur­gent at­ten­tion.

“Ty­phoid is only iden­ti­fied in ar­eas with poor wa­ter san­i­ta­tion and in­ad­e­quate hy­gienic ser­vices,” she said. “Harare is at 53 per­cent safe wa­ter cov­er­age against 80 per­cent and above, which is re­quired to avoid ty­phoid and cholera out­breaks.”

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