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By Steve Ephraem

So is the case in every town of the Southern country, Zimbabwe, solid wast prove to be a challenge to manage starting from an individual behavior of throwing away liter.

Chipinge Small to Medium Enterprises or enterprenurs and informal traders from flea markets don’t have lock rooms and each day they are seen pushing their wheelbarrows and carts full of their wares.

Those from shops and offices are criss-crossing in a bid to make the last business of the day before they catch pirate taxis to their residential areas.

The pirate taxis are given nicknames depending on what route they are taking. Those that ply routes from the town centre to outside town places such as Southdown, Birchenough Bridge, Checheche, Chikore and Mount Selinda are called “Zvipipipi,” following their uncontrolled hooting when luring customers.

Those which ply the town centre to Gaza Township are referred to as “ZvimaMarch” deriving the name from Nissan March vehicles which were the pioneers of the township routes. Now, Honda Fit vehicles have overtaken the Nissan March.

These local taxis are the ones which bring headache as far as pollution is concerned in Chipinge. The pirate taxis pick passengers at TM Pick n Pay Supermarket in the town centre and the area is very filthy to say the least. The area is infested with touts who shout and drag people’s luggage at will.

Dumped litter which has become an eyesore at Bus Terminus

In addition to their horse voices, the touts throw rubbish whenever their hearts desire. It seems as though passengers to Gaza Township plucked a leaf from the touts’ behaviour of polluting the supermarket premises.

One comes to wonder how such things are happening under the nose of authorities, especially Chipinge Town Council which has power to decongest the town centre as well as collecting litter in town on daily basis. The pick-up point is suffering from noise, air and waste pollution.

But before we point fingers at the town council, we need to admit that tidiness doesn’t need any policing. Each individual should be able to avoid litter.

Unfortunately, people board the taxis at TM Supermarket in the pollution gear and carries that litter mood to the ghettos of Gaza Township.

Gaza ghettos are heavily polluted with waste. One wonders how some office bearers who stay in Gaza Township get out of their homes clad in expensive suits jumping over waste in the township.

One begins to breathe a sigh of relief when she witnesses efforts like the one which took place on 7 May 2021 in the ZBS section of Gaza Township which saw close to 300 people participate in a clean-up event in that community.

ZBS section is in Chipinge Urban Ward 3 and is one of the most heavily populated areas in Gaza Township due to closely knitted houses. The area is also a darling of thieves who take refuge in the night darkness since there is no public lighting in that section.

The afore-mentioned clean-up campaign was coordinated by a Community Based Facilitator Mr Mujaji Netsai Freeman Chinyama. Environmental Management Agency (EMA) in Chipinge and Chipinge Town Council provided tools and material for use during the event.

To anyone who cares about a clean environment, the ZBS clean-up campaign was a positive move in reclaiming a clean and health environment for our urban areas. But the problem still comes when we start to think of who initially polluted the environment.

The answer is that it is us. Then, isn’t it a bad attitude to wait for clean-up campaigns to happen so that our environment becomes clean? Why can’t we police ourselves to shun littering?

Curbing urban litter is everyone’s responsibility.

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