Penalise Simbisa for polluting the environment: MIHR

Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and Bulawayo City Council (BCC) have been called upon to penalise Simbisa Brands for failing to properly dispose of their litter which has resulted in the contamination of the environment.

The call was made by human rights watchdog, Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR), Monday following reports received by the organisation from residents.

In a letter addressed to EMA and BCC, MIHR Coordinator, Khumbulani Maphosa, made specific reference to litter dumped at an alley at the Simbisa Branch at 8th Avenue and Jason Moyo.

Maphosa noted that the food outlet was practicing bad waste management which violates the Environmental Management Act, the city’s waste management by-laws and the principles of business and human rights.

“Following a resident’s complaint on Sunday June 20, 2021, about Innscor’s littering and poor waste management MIHR visited the backyard of Innscor outlet along 8th Avenue and Jason Moyo Street in Bulawayo to confirm the facts and we can authoritatively confirm that the company is adopting bad waste management practises that cause littering in the alleys,” read the letter.

“Our observation is that Innscor Jason Moyo Street and 8th Avenue outlet discards its waste (paper, empty metal cans, plastic and waste water) in an environmentally and human rights unfriendly manner.”

He said paper waste is strewn all over the alley and the backyard and some of the waste, which is in black plastic containers, is stashed in closets creating a health and environmental nuisance.

“Some of the black plastic bags containing paper waste and empty metal containers are stashed in the staircases and at the roof of one of the buildings near the alley. There is evidence of poor waste water management as there is water flowing to the alley. The water is visibly contaminated and produces a pungent smell,” alleged Maphosa in the letter.

Maphosa recommended that EMA and BCC swiftly act on the matter to ensure that the food outlet adheres to environmental laws, policies and standards.

“EMA and BCC must conduct spot checks at the backyards and alleys of all fast food outlets in the city to ascertain their compliance in terms of waste management principles and standards.”

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