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Dar Municipalities must ensure City cleanliness

Dar Municipalities must ensure City cleanliness

 With over four million dwellers from all walks of life, Dar es Salaam which is the country’s commercial city is a place where everybody is struggling that also involves breaking the law.   Most of road pavements along city roads are an eyesore with stalls awash with all sorts of merchandise during the day.

At night they are turned into shelter for homeless vendors and also hideout for petty criminals. Previous administrations in Dar es Salaam city attempted to remove street vendors and relocate them to designated locations but that was short-lived. The Machinga complex at Mchikichini area in Ilala district is one of such locations for petty traders to display and sell their merchandise. 

As expected space allocation at the complex was riddled with corruption, thus, the intended beneficiaries could not get space for the businesses. They are back on road pavements in big number within the city, and their number is increasing day-by-day. High rate of unemployment, coupled with harsh living conditions in rural areas aggravated the influx of youth to cities, including Dar es Salaam.

The city road pavements are now overcrowded with vendors' stalls, putting lives of pedestrians at risk because they have to compete with motorists to make their way. Apart from traffic risks, the city is awash with filth with garbage in many places of the city.  No wonder Dar es Salaam City has been mentioned among dirtiest cities in the world despite efforts to keep it clean.

In yester years city authorities under the leadership of the then Regional Commissioner, William Lukuvi, visited Moshi, Kilimanjaro region, to learn from the latter’s best practices in cleaning and keeping the city clean. Whether there was any follow-up after RC’s departure is yet to be seen because nothing, if any, seems to have changed the situation.

The exercise to expand city roads has come as a bitter pill to them, and the Minister for Works, Dr John Pombe Magufuli, gave them seven days' ultimatum to remove their makeshift business stalls or face the long arm of the law. The deadline expired yesterday.  Minister Magufuli is well respected as a no nonsense minister.

He won accolades in many portfolios that come under his custody. One good thing about him, so they say, he takes time to study the laws that govern his mandate. A clear example is the fare increase at Magogoni pontoon by 100 per cent that created raw between him and his political colleagues from Dar es Salaam constituencies. But, in the end, he emerged winner because he knew he operated within the law. Benefits of the fare increase at Magogoni have been realized within a very short time.

We hope that all the three Municipal Councils of Dar es Salaam will ensure cleanliness of the road pavement after the expansion exercise by providing stable business locations where vendors could sell their merchandise without disturbances from the City askaris.

As stated by John Mnyika, Ubungo lawmaker on the opposition Chadema, the duty to keep the city clean and address the problem of street vendors in Dar es Salaam rests with the three municipal councils by providing proper supervision in their respective administrative areas.

For it is through proper control of such business that they can collect enough revenue to meet costs of providing social services to the ever-increasing city population. This calls for concerted efforts to keep vendors off the roads and take austerity measures to keep the city clean. It can be done if we all play our part.

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Author: EDITOR

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