By Norma Tsopo
Mutare City Council (MCC) needs US$5 million to end the menace of problem flies that have become a nuisance and a health threat to residences and business properties near its dumpsite.
Residents and property owners have been raising complaints with the local authority for years with a restaurant that once opened in the low density suburb earning its female owner the derogative moniker Mbuya Nhunzi because of the problem-flies.
The dumpsite is surrounded by low density suburbs like Darlington, Greenside Extension and Beira Corridor as well as numerous commercial properties and has been attracting penalties for the city from the Environmental Management Agency.
MCC public relations officer Spren Mutiwi said they have since identified a suitable site for a proper landfill in Gimboki, more than 20 kilometres from the city centre but will require US$5 million to set up the solid waste management facility.
“The solution in addressing the problem for the dumpsite has been identified by the city. We have identified a new site which is ideal for a landfill which is in line with the environmental management agency in Gimboki.
“The only bottleneck that we are still faced with is that it requires a huge capital injection to the tune of US$5 million… We are hoping to get a potential investor so that we do a public-private partnership.
“This would also help us put to rest the firefighting that we are always engaged in with environmental law enforcers,” Mutiwi said.
He said they are currently trying to constantly bury rotting refuse at the dumpsite using graders to ease the problem of flies.
“It’s true that it’s a problem and complaints continue to come but what we have been doing of late was to deploy our grader to reduce the rate of flies. This has worked to reduce the problem in a way but the long term and most effective option is to relocate the dumping site,” Mutiwi said.
However, Mutare City Health Services Director Dr Anthony Mutara has previously said the city needed US$1 million for same project.
Speaking at a Local Environment Action Plan (LEAP) review workshop in November last year the official said the authority was taking a multi-stakeholder consultation approach to come up with ways of implementing the plan at minimum cost.
“For a city this big, we would need about US$1 million to come up with a standard solid waste landfill, but such funds will not be easy to come by.”
“This is why we are engaging partners who will come on board to assist with technical expertise to reduce the cost,” he said.