The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is struggling to collect refuse in certain parts of the city due to fuel shortages. Some areas have gone for more than a month with their refuse not being collected forcing residents to raise concerns of possible outbreak of diseases. BCC senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu said the major challenge which has resulted in the local authority defaulting is the unavailability of foreign currency to buy fuel. Mpofu said in instances where the failure was anticipated, residents would be warned in time but in some instances, it would be sudden and no communication would be done.
“Fuel has been hard to get in local currency. Where the failure was anticipated communication was done, however where the failure to deliver by suppliers was not known in advance, sadly communication may have been done late. The situation is not predictable as most fuel suppliers prefer Foreign currency of which the Council receives small amounts of,” Mpofu said.
“Residents are encouraged to separate waste at source so as to make it easy to reclaim (take back those items that have some use), reuse (find alternative functions for waste) and recycle (use items in a different format e.g melting of PET bottles and mixing with sand to make bricks or works of art).”
While presenting the proposed 2021 budget, chairman of the finance and development committee, deputy mayor Cllr Mlandu Ncube implored residents to settle their bills in foreign currency to enable the local authority to effectively deliver services.
“Our specific appeal is that may our residents who have access to forex as well as companies that are charging for their goods and services in foreign currency, consider paying their bills in the same. This would help the council to get the much-needed forex to pay for essential products such as fuel and water treatment chemicals. This is your city, support it by paying your bills in foreign currency,” said Cllr Ncube.
Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)