Chiredzi’s Banana market potential source of new cholera cases

Anesushe Mamhute

Chiredzi residents have expressed dissatisfaction with Chiredzi Town Council’s service delivery performance in view of the current cholera outbreak, with uncollected garbage and poorly-maintained public toilets being cited as examples of the local authority’s failures.

The council’s Banana Market (pictured) is the sole vegetable informal market in the town, but residents complain that the local authority is doing nothing to improve sanitation there.

John Mhlanga, a member of the local is in the vendors’ committee, criticised the council for having little regard for public health.

“They do not collect garbage in time and all the bins are overflowing. People don’t have an option but to heap the garbage as usual,” said Mhlanga.

He said there were at least 500 permanent vendors paying US$10 stall every month, and they felt hard done by the local authority.

Recent statistics show that Masvingo province had 3192 recorded cholera cases, 1979 recoveries, 76 deaths and 93 patients under treatment, and most of these were in Chiredzi district.

Chiredzi Town Council Public Relations Officer, Kudzai Chimutimbira told EnvroPress that she will communicate with relevant departments on the issue of poor sanitation at the market.

She hinted that council wanted to put skip bins at such markets.

On his part, Chiredzi Town Council chairperson Jameson Charumbira blamed the vendors’ committee for not taking care of the toilets.

“The toilets are getting vandalised and they are not helping the situation. Instead of using toilet paper, people use alien objects that cause serious blockages. We regret not  making them pay toilets which we now believe could have led to more responsible use,” said Charumbira.

He promised to facilitate the removal of the garbage and the clean-up of the place.

Chiredzi Pioneers Group representative, Felix Nososo lamented the deterioration of standards at the market.

“The Banana Market is a convergence zone and people from various places come to do business, and to let things deteriorate that way proves irresponsibility,” said Nososo.

This was echoed by Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association leader Jonathan Mupamombe who warned the council to take urgent action or risk the market becoming a source of new cholera cases.