Bulawayo residents have been urged to adopt a culture of cleanliness and maintain behaviours that will help to rid the city of litter.
This came out in an engagement meeting held by Bulawayo CSOs and the city council to deliberate on their expectations from the newly elected councillors as far as city affairs are concerned.
Addressing stakeholders at the meeting, Mayor Cllr David Coltart reiterated that the city is very filthy, and called on residents to commit themselves to cleaning their environment. Cllr Coltart said cleaning the city does not require any funds but needs people to adopt the correct attitude and mindset to keep the city clean.
“We don’t need many resources to start turning some of these things around. Look at the amount of litter lying around, I don’t understand where it comes from. When I was a member of parliament for Nketa Constituency, I remember how impressed I was by the manner in which residents took care of their surroundings. Their homes were spotless, and that doesn’t take any money,” he said.
“It just requires behavioural change, for all of us to have the same goal and the right attitude. We must be the change we want to see in our society. We can’t look to Harare, or to other political parties, it is our responsibility. We only need to work as a collective to tidy up our city. It doesn’t take any money at all.”
Effie Ncube, from NACORA, weighed in noting that residents are sometimes careless and they dispose of their litter in the wrong manner.
“We need to change our behaviour as people. Look at how people carry themselves around. Men, for example, will be in a public space, where there is a public toilet, but they choose to relieve themselves behind the toilet. You also find that someone who is in the CBD wants to throw away litter, they deliberately miss a bin and throw the litter on the ground. We need to change our culture, our approach as people. What keeps the city clean is the culture of the people, not the local authority budget,” Ncube said.
Justice Zvaita from Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition said there is a need to have qualified people, who understand the magnitude of some of the environmental offences committed by people.