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HomeLocal NewsLUSAKA CITY’S GARBAGE COLLECTION NIGHTMARE. WHY DOES THE PROBLEM LIE?

LUSAKA CITY’S GARBAGE COLLECTION NIGHTMARE. WHY DOES THE PROBLEM LIE?


GARBAGE collection by the Lusaka City Council (LCC) in the capital city still appears to be a nightmare.
Unbelievable piles of uncollected garbage seem to now characterise most council run markets in the city’s compounds while the local authority continues to promise the residents it will collect it soon.
The council last year assured Lusaka residents it had procured tipper trucks to enhance garbage collection in the capital city and that the issue of uncollected refuse, especially at trading places would soon be a thing of the past.
The then Lusaka mayor, Mr Wilson Kalumba, now late, said the procurement of the trucks would create a difference in the garbage collection exercise and the general cleaning of the city.
He assured the people that the momentum of garbage collection, and solid waste management in general by the council, would be enhanced now that the local authority had the right equipment.
“In the past we have complained about lack of equipment, which was very true, but now we have the equipment for us to use. As I mentioned earlier, garbage collection everywhere in the world is a costly venture, so we need to find resources and people need to be ready to start contributing to the cost of running waste collection in the city,” Mr. Kalumba then said.
That assurance was made in January last year but 14 months later, the problem of uncollected garbage still remains a challenge for the council and in fact it seems to have become much worse than it was before the procurement of the trucks.
Just where does the problem still lie, if we may ask, because the residents are doing their part by dumping the waste at designated places in the compounds but are being let down by the council which is persistently failing to fulfil its mandate of collecting the waste and transporting it to the main dump site.
The council is always quick to clamp down on residents that fail to abide by its regulation to have the waste dumped in designated places while it continues to fail to meet its obligation of collecting the waste and transporting it to the main dump site.
Where is the local authority’s seriousness and impartiality in this whole process?
The council always preaches the observance of improved hygiene and good sanitation at trading centres and yet it lets the garbage lie uncollected for weeks at its own market entrances thereby exposing the very same people it is supposed to safeguard to possible contamination and disease outbreaks.
The local authority always wants the traders in its area to pay fees and yet it cares less about whether their trading premises are clean or hygienic enough to attract customers and be able to make money.
By failing to collect the garbage from the markets and other trading places, the council in fact ultimately affects the traders’ ability to generate enough income because some potential customers are put off and turned away by foul smell from the garbage and by the general unhygienic state of the premises as a result of the uncollected waste.
Mariah Mumba, a restaurant owner at COMESA Market recently lamented how the garbage was affecting her business, saying the customers were no longer coming forth to buy the food as much as they used to due to the foul smell from the heaps of uncollected garbage nearby.
The problem of uncollected waste at markets cannot be pinpointed to a few markets alone because it seems to affect all the council –run trading centres in Lusaka.
The truth is, the problem of uncollected garbage in the city actually now seems to lie everywhere and affect everyone in the city.

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