Mzuzu City Waste Management Challenges
A mountain of garbage growing just outside Mzuzu city main market has become a source of discomfort. Market vendors and shop owners close to the heap are now raising concern on health safety implications of operating in such an environment. The problem is also visible in some city streets where waste lays unattended for months on end.
And getting the hit for the state of affairs is the Mzuzu City Council which collects taxes for offering services that citizens now say are non existent.
Michael Luhanga is one of the vendors plying trade in the main city market. He says his business has been affected adversely by the environmental situation.
"There is no change since the situation started. We are now at risk of contracting diseases. Nothing has happened since we started consulting the council. Now we are losing customers on a daily basis. Customers are not comfortable (in such an environment)," Luhanga said.
Beatrice Mvalo sales wares in the same market. She has an infant on her lap during our interview. She fears for the life of her child and the health of children that adults bring to the market. But she is left with no option as here is where she ekes her living.
"At lunch when we have meals, flies are all over on our food. This is affecting our health and that of our children," said observed.
Mzuzu City Council spokesperson, Mcdonald Gondwe, acknowledges the situation. He blames it all on a broken-down refuse collection truck. It has been down for a while.
"We are concerned. But we have been facing problems for almost a week now. We expect that the vehicle will be back in use soon," he said.
Mzuzu City Council has resource challenges that are standing in the way of its ability to provide adequate citizen services such as sorting sheds, incinerators, excavator dozer and skip bins and more.