First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa has implored Zimbabweans to maintain clean environments to curb the outbreak of diseases such as cholera, typhoid and others associated with unclean surroundings.
The sporadic diseases have resulted in a number of fatalities in the country since 2008.
The First Lady who is also the patron and ambassador of the National Clean-up campaign said the battle against the diseases cannot be won in unclean and contaminated environments.
In Bulawayo yesterday, stakeholders and Government ministries began the clean-up campaign at Mpilo Central Hospital.
Groups went through Makokoba suburb, 6th Avenue and Renkini bus terminus as Bulawayo hosted this month’s main event.
In a speech read on her behalf by Bulawayo Minister for Provincial Affairs Cde Judith Ncube to mark the National Cleaning Day at Efusini shopping Centre in Makokoba yesterday, Amai Mnangagwa said the objective of the cleaning exercise is to ensure that everyone puts into practice what was agreed on during the launch of the campaign last year.
President Mnangagwa launched the National Clean up Campaign on December 5 last year and it falls on the first Friday of each month.
“Zimbabwe as a country has witnessed outbreaks of cholera and typhoid associated with unclean environments resulting in a number of fatalities that have been recorded since 2008. What has become very clear is the fact that as long as the environment remains unclean and contaminated the battle against such diseases will continue to be lost,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
She said proper sewage water disposal and functional sewage systems in the urban areas are also very key in ensuring that cholera and typhoid do not recur.
She said communities have a role to play by reporting sewage bursts to the responsible authorities and the responsible authorities have an obligation to respond swiftly.
“As the First Lady, patron and ambassador of Environment, I am calling upon the women and the youth to form groups that can start projects using waste products. Let’s all be innovative and explore ways of extracting value from waste products.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we keep our environment clean and ensure that the country has sustainable waste and disposals systems in place which are well maintained,” she said.
The First Lady said the clean-up campaign was taking place in all cities and the Ministry of Environment and other line ministries, city councils, churches, the private sector and various stakeholders have taken it up to instil discipline and responsibility in citizens in order to keep the environment clean.
The First Lady encouraged residents of Makokoba and the whole of Bulawayo to also do the same.
“I am hereby encouraging Bulawayo as a whole to scale up the clean-up we carried out today and continue the implementation of the clean-up campaign through dedication of a national day of cleaning which is the first Friday of each month. On this day ministries, companies, individuals, corporates, religious and social groups as well as households will dedicate a minimum of two hours between 8AM to 10am to cleaning their places and surrounding environment.”
“I am bestowing this responsibility upon the Minister of State, Honourable Judith Ncube, the Bulawayo City Council, the Ministry of Environment, EMA, line ministries and all other stakeholders to ensure that clean-up exercises are done as per the commitment. You are also to ensure that behavioural change in terms of litter handling and management is instilled in all of us.”
Tourism and Hospitality Industry Permanent Secretary Mr Munesu Munodawafa said the clean- up campaign was apolitical.
“The national clean-up campaign is bigger than any association in Zimbabwe. It’s not about EMA, it’s not about our ministry or hospitality industries. We are not only cleaning for tourists, we are cleaning for Zimbabweans.”
“It’s not about party politics. It’s bigger than party politics. Diseases do not select on the basis of race, creed, tribe, regional or even political affiliation. When a disease strikes, it kills all of us so these are things that we should do for our country not for the next person,” said Mr Munodawafa.
He said by embarking on clean up campaigns, they are not taking the responsibility of local authorities as they remain responsible for keeping all areas clean.
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) which was among the stakeholders taking part in the clean- up campaign, provided a tipper truck, dump truck and front-end loader and cleaned areas around 6th Avenue and Renkini bus terminus.
ZPC operations director engineer Kenneth Maswera said they were in full support of such national programmes to keep the environment clean.
“As ZPC one of the things that we are concerned about is the environment. So we generate electricity in an environment that is clean, conducive even for our employees who stay in these communities. So we have come here as an organisation to support this national cause, it is about Zimbabwe and we are part of Zimbabwe and as part of the TSP we are supposed to participate in national programmes,” he said.
Gwanda residents, the police, local government and various Government departments in Matabeleland South yesterday joined the rest of the country to mark the national Clean-up day.
Addressing residents during the clean-up exercise at Spitzkop North Extension Terminus, Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Abednico Ncube urged stakeholders to uphold the initiative by the President for everyone to clean their surroundings.
“The President declared that every first Friday of each calendar month is National Clean up Day. During this day we are all expected to clean our surroundings. This programme incorporates everyone be it residents, Government departments and institutions.
“As the people of Gwanda let’s make sure that every month we take heed of this message and take part in the clean-up exercise. Let’s also be responsible and properly dispose litter by throwing it in bins not on our streets. It’s alarming to see the rate of littering in this town especially at our shopping complexes and business centres. We have been cleaning this terminus and we picked up a lot of empty plastic beer containers which had been just left lying around the area,” he said.
Cde Ncube added: “To members of the business community especially those who operate bottle stores and to vendors, make sure you provide customers with bins to dispose litter after buying from you,” he said.
He called on law enforcement agents to ensure that criminals responsible for littering the streets were brought to book. Residents cleaned streets in the town while staff from Government departments and institutions cleaned their work premises.
In Masvingo, most companies took time off to clean their environment between 8AM and 10AM yesterday.
Minister of State for provincial affairs Cde Ezra Chadzamira led provincial heads including the Joint Operation Command (JOC) and Environmental Management Agency (EMA) officials in the clean-up campaign at Mashava Mine compound.
In Masvingo City Centre, the local authority’s environmental officer Mr Zvapano Munganasa also led council workers in cleaning the Civic Centre and Robert Mugabe Way.
Notable companies and departments which took part in the clean-up were the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), Econet Wireless and TelOne among others.
Speaking during the clean up exercise, Minister Chadzamira hailed President Mnangagwa for declaring National Clean-up Day, saying this will inculcate a culture of hygiene in the citizenry.
“I would want to thank President Mnangagwa for declaring clean-up day.
This will instil the spirit of cleanliness among our people. I urge everyone in Masvingo to observe every first Friday of the month as clean-up day as espoused by His Excellency Cde Ed Mnangagwa on December 5 last year,” said Minister Chadzamira.
There was similar cleaning in all the seven districts of the province.
Source: The Chronicle