By Lungile Moyo
Female residents in Bulawayo have been invited to work hand in glove with the local authority as a means of addressing service delivery issues like refuse collection and water and sanitation, which are increasingly becoming a challenge and negatively impacting women the most.
Speaking at a meeting organised by the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) aimed at holding duty bearers accountable, BCC’s Gender Focal Person Mrs Audrey Manyemwe urged women in attendance at the meeting to play an active part in keeping the city clean.
“It is so saddening to see the city of Bulawayo faced with such challenges and most of these challenges are caused by people who live around the place,” said Manyemwe.
She also warned that there are many cases where people have converted sewage system lids for their own use and this has created problems of sewage blockages.
BCC Senior Environment Officer Mr Nkanyiso Ndlovu also urged women to report cases of vandalism so that community property could be protected to avoid problems of sewage and drainage blockages.
“Cases of vandalism of property should be reported and perpetrators be dealt with accordingly,” said Ndlovu
He also stated that such offenders are vandalise council property knowing that it will cost a lot of money for the BCC to repair or replace.
WCoZ representatives said the called for the meeting with aim of holding duty bearers accountable mainly within the local authority. The meeting was also to help build mutual relationships between the community of Bulawayo and the BCC with an aim to change the city for the better.
Issues discussed at the meeting included sewage systems blockages especially in high density areas, water rationing, ZESA load shedding and litter that is all over the streets of Bulawayo.
Participants at the meeting asked BCC officials to put measures which will ensure that offenders will be punished for vandalising community property.
Pertaining to the issue of theft of community and BCC property, a representative from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Dominic Muringi said that policies and laws should be put in place and awareness raised so that communities may be alert of what is happening and may take up responsibility.
Mrs Mildred Sandi the chairperson of WCoZ for Bulawayo said that it is everyone’s responsibility to change Bulawayo for the better.
“Bulawayo residents, please shun away from vandalising property which is in place to help the community. Vandalism creates long term problems for the community,” she said.
Stakeholders at the meeting deliberated at length on how the community of Bulawayo and BCC could work together to address the many problems facing the community. It was also agreed that each and every one present at the meeting has a duty to play in their communities and that people should work together with BCC in raising awareness of the problems facing Bulawayo.
Present in the meeting were women from various sectors in Bulawayo, representatives from the Zimbabwe Republic Police, women’s organisations and the BCC.