By Noleen Chavunduka


Harare – the Sunshine City. That is how we used to know it back in the days, when no litter could be seen in the streets. When garbage trucks –madoda-bhini  – used to come to our residences to collect garbage almost twice a week. When all street lights used to be functional. When just the mention of Harare would command some respect, especially in the remote areas outside the city.

I wonder where all this have gone in this day and age. The city’s standards have deteriorated. People always ask, ‘Where are the city fathers when all this is happening?’ But who is responsible for making the city clean? Us of course! Are we not the same people who lived in the time when the city was shining? What has changed about us?

Of course it is the duty of the city council to collect garbage and keeping the streets clean, but are we disposing litter where it is supposed to be? We should not think it will be easier for city cleaners to do their duty if they find litter in the bins than all over the city.

We all have, at one point in time, thrown litter out of our cars or bus window, though very conscious that it is not legal.

From sunshine to an eyesore!

I wish we could all realise how we are contributing in turning the city into an eyesore by the way we throw litter everywhere. Garbage is spilling behind our durawalls day by day. The same durawalls that we find solace and safety in. And the same garbage poses a very serious danger to our health as it provides mosquitoes with breeding space. It is disheartening to see how some of us are living in grave danger of contracting diseases because of the untidiness of the areas we live in.

In the past few weeks, residents of Matapi Flats in Mbare expressed dissatisfaction over high rentals and poor services from the City of Harare. Sewer pipes are bursting with sewerage flowing all over.

We all thank God for the rains which always mark great times of the year, where we look forward to harvesting our farm produce. The rain season always brings good looks onto the environment, but it is always us who turn the environment ugly and into an eyesore. It is very important that each and every one of us plays their role in keeping the environment clean.

There is great need for change of attitude towards cleanliness.

Why not change for the better?