Poor and unhygienic mask disposal a menace in Zimbabwe’s second largest city

by Yollander Millin

Mask disposal is proving to be a problematic phenomenon in Bulawayo suburbs as recently discovered. While the pandemic continues to co-exist with the people, and with speculation of the 4th wave in the not so distant future, the carefree manner in which face masks are being thrown around needs to be addressed urgently as this is not only a pollution issue but a potential case of virus spread.

Since the beginning of the school term, children from Mahatshula primary school have on several occasions been caught picking up the poorly disposed masks and wearing them without knowledge of who pre-owned them, which raises concern about the coronavirus spreading.

Disposable masks are now easily available and accessible on roadside markets, costing ZW$10 each as compared to the US$28 a box that the government was invoiced in the Drax scandal.

Despite this rising concern, the lack of implementation of already existing COVID-19 policies, such as the lack of enforcement of punitive action for not wearing masks correctly, encourages the lack of confidence in the Government taking any action to have the matter resolved.

There needs to a collective initiative towards addressing COVID-19 related matters and the law enforcement agencies are encouraged to enforce laws and policies, holding each citizen accountable for their actions without fear or favor.

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