Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Habitat Day amid concerns to invest more in waste management, water and climate change.

There was consensus that coming at a time when cholera became a national challenge, priority must be given to investing in waste management systems.

Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Matabeleland South Cde Abednico Ncube emphasized the importance of ensuring water and climate change issues are fully dealt with.

The stakeholders who were at the commemorations also visited several waste management projects in Beitbridge.

Through such initiatives, the municipality is working with the private sector, community based organisations and individuals to recycle waste in the border town.

However, it is essential to advance development of the rural habitat so that the gap between the urban and village is closed.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde July Moyo said this during the World Habitat Day commemorations in Mutare.

The first Monday of October every year was marked by UN as World Habitat Day.

The day seeks to reflect on the state of towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.

In Mutare, Minister Moyo said one of the most important aspects to humans was ensuring that they have safe and proper homes.

He highlighted that there is need to decongest cities by improving rural infrastructure where the majority of Zimbabweans live.

“We want to decongest our cities we want the City of Mutare to be decongested from Mutare city centre to outlying settlements like this one. We also want to decongest Mutare city so that we can develop Nyanga, Rusape and Murambinda. We want all these areas to become urbanised,” he said.

Before officiating at the World Habitat Day commemorations, Honourable Moyo had officially launched the national clean-up campaign were he implored City of Mutare to work with EMA in ensuring that solid waste was properly disposed of.

“Come up with a budget which says let’s get rid of litter and let’s invest and where and you agree on refuse removal equipment and designing of solid waste management systems. When they bring to us we want to know EMA has signed on,” he said.

Mutare Mayor Councillor Blessing Tandi assured Mutare residents that as council they are working towards providing a better habitable environment through timely refuse collection.

“Let me hasten to assure Mutare residents and stakeholders that within a short period before year end there shall be a marked increase in solid waste management as we anticipate to receive three new refuse trucks as part of the broader recapitalisation programme underway,” he said.

This year’s World Habitat Day was held under the theme, “Municipal Solid Waste Management”.