…but more work needed in addressing crucial services
Simbarashe Fenton M
Redcliff Town Council was awarded with the Environmental Stewardship and Social Impact Award at the Masvingo-Midlands Provinces Environmental, Responsible Business and Corporate Social Responsibility Awards (CSR) held in Zvishavane recently but residents feel it should do more to address critical issues affecting them.
The town’s strides in environmental stewardship and refuse disposal mechanisms has been given a first nod by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and urban local authorities. Redcliff Mayor Cllr Clayton Masiyatsva expressed gratitude and views the award as an inspiration to work harder in serving the community.
“This year our sewer treatment plans and processes have been functional and we no longer incur fines from EMA and our dumpsites have been assessed and we discovered that we are doing well under difficult conditions we are working in together with the help of our corporates. This award is motivating and we strive to keep trying our best despite the situation we have,” said Cllr Masiyatsva.
Redcliff came second with Masvingo clinching the pole position in the Masvingo and Midlands Provinces competition and it was automatically declared the best in the whole of the Midlands province competition as the town’s strides in dumpsites and sewer system disposal have been a success.
Waste management workshops by the council’s Health department, sewer system rehabilitation projects funded by African Development Bank (AFDB) have gone a long way in the realistion of hygiene and cleanliness to a town haunted by history of severe outbreak of diseases such as typhoid and Cholera which claimed precious lives.
Research conducted by this reporter, however proves that despite award winning the strides made by the council in addressing sewerage and waste disposal issues the town has a long way to go because more and more sewerage bursts and illegal dump sites mushrooming everywhere especially in Simbi Park and Rutendo areas.
“I heard about the award in the Mayors Forum WhatsApp group, it is good and I hope it gives the council and its management motivation to keep their heads together and find means to address these issues before the rainy season comes. If you check that ZCC area the problem has been there for a long time and I believe the area is no longer conducive to reside, that should be a priority now that water is sparingly available here and there,” said resident who identified himself as Mapfumo.
One Rutendo resident who identified himself as Baba Tanya said that the award is just a tip in the ice bag, though the current crop of councilors have been working tirelessly with the management there is a bigger gap to be filled because residents continue to finger out the council’s incompetence while the council blames the economy and failure by residents to meet their bills.
“What is there to appreciate? Are there any strides which have been made by the current council on roads, sewer and even on water availability? These important services have improved though there is need for both the council and residents to continue to do more. The award also is for residents who continue to put their faith in the financially struggling council…” he said.
However, Tendai Ruben Mbofana a resident and participant in the Mayor’s Forum WhatsApp Platform had no kind words for the council, pinpointing leadership incompetence at the Civic Centre as one of the main reasons the town is embroiled in long term issues.
“The main problem we have are people who merely want positions, yet they absolutely have no solutions to these perennial and well known challenges which has dogged our town for far too long.
“We tend to think that giving excuses is justification enough for our failures. This is totally unacceptable, those who want to lead this town need to be those with a complete understanding of the problems we are faced with, and have workable solutions. What is the point of having one administration after another, yet all failing to proffer any long lasting solutions?” pointed Mbofana.
The continued growth of Redcliff Town has proved to be a major challenge to Redcliff Council as rendering of important services has become a struggle with financial and manpower resources lacking thereof.
Redcliff Town Council has a vision to be a City by 2030.