By Innocent Ruwende
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has given Harare City Council US$600 000 to import the remaining 21 refuse compactors.
The compactors have been in South Africa since last year as council failed raise foreign currency to bring them into the country.
Council bought 30 refuse compactors from automotive manufacturer FAW Group Corporation for US$3,1 million.
It also bought various pieces of equipment under a US$30 million loan facility accessed from local banks for recapitalisation.
FAW has already delivered nine refuse trucks and 10 skip trucks using its own resources and the US$300 000 it got from RBZ.
The trucks will be deployed to zones and will be managed by zonal teams.
The city is on record stating that the trucks belong to residents and the community must monitor their use.
Yesterday, Environment Management Committee chairperson councillor Herbert Gomba thanked the RBZ for availing the foreign currency.
"We appreciate that the meetings held between the RBZ and the city produced the foreign currency needed to bring into Zimbabwe part of the refuse equipment which was stuck in South Africa for nearly 12 months now," he said.
"Though the efforts are appreciated we call upon the RBZ to release more so that all of the equipment can be brought to Zimbabwe. This call is meant to ensure service delivery is improved in Harare, diseases are controlled through timeous interventions from the local authorities."
Harare last beefed up its fleet of refuse collection trucks in 2010 and has not been able to provide proper service to the vehicle.
Each truck is operating for an average of 18 hours every day, thereby leading to frequent breakdowns. The city early this year commissioned a consignment of 10 skip trucks, which were bought under the same facility.
The skip trucks are for the collection of skip bins which are in high waste generation points like Copacabana, Market Square, Fourth Street, Government buildings and other key points around the city, including Mbare, the market place where the city has been struggling to collect refuse.
Residents in several suburbs have been creating their own illegal dump-sites as council is failing to collect garbage on time exposing residents to diseases.