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Fuel shortage grounds council refuse trucks

Harare City Council has run out of fuel to collect garbage, raising fears of another cholera and typhoid outbreak.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

At least 55 people succumbed to cholera in Harare late last year.

Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said the local authority was using less than 16 refuse trucks to service 45 wards, with limited supplies of fuel.

“Due to the prevailing fuel shortages on the market, we are unable to do our scheduled garbage collections. Today, 16 garbage trucks were deployed. They have since exhausted their daily allocations. Efforts are being made to secure fuel. Once we are able to access fuel, we will deploy the vehicles to their daily duties. We regret any inconveniences that may arise as a result of non-collection,” Chideme said.

The country has been facing an acute shortage of fuel and long queues have become the order of the day at service stations due to lack of foreign currency to import the product.

Failure to collect garbage exposes residents to hygiene-related diseases such as cholera and typhoid, and this could be worsened by the incessant rains that have been pounding the city in recent weeks.

The fuel crisis is so severe that ambulances in Harare have also been grounded.

Council also faces a water supply crisis, with the city pumping less than 280 mega litres per day due to lack of water purification chemicals and dwindling levels of raw water in Lake Chivero.

source: newsday

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