Stink amid splendour

HARARE - A rivulet of stinking slime flows through the back of one of the biggest food outlets at Harare’s upmarket Avondale Shopping Centre.

The repulsive stink at the back of this supposedly trendy shopping centre is in sharp contrast to the aroma that breezes from the front where there is a fast food and ice cream outlet, two supermarkets run by retail giants, a coffee and pizza joint and a pharmacy among other classy businesses.

The situation at Avondale mirrors how food and grocery companies in Zimbabwe are found wanting when it comes to meeting best practices as required by health and environment officials.

These companies have conveniently chosen to ignore the word “green” as they chase profits, conservationists say.

Although different companies in the world are increasingly going green, Zimbabwean food companies are lagging behind.

Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba says companies with higher chances of polluting the environment should commit more resources towards environmental friendly programmes.

“We expect companies to commit resources towards proper waste disposal. The social responsibility is seen as a compensatory measure for the profit they are making out of that community. Big companies like food chains must also engage in clean-up campaigns and other environmental awareness programmes. The longer they continue polluting our streams the more resources we will need towards the purification of water,” Shumba says.

According to the Environmental Management Agency (Ema), companies causing environmental hazard should be fined or cease operations. - Bridget Mananavire

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