Stagnant Basotho mind-sets continue to plunge Maseru into dirt despite efforts to rope in street vendors and taxi operators to keep Maseru Clean, Khathang Tema Baitšukuli, Tšolo Lebitsa, chair said.
Lebitsa said the Maseru City Council (MCC) and street vendors joined forces last year in a bid to keep taxi ranks clean but street vendors have diverted from the objective.
He noted that they still believe MCC is inclined to clean the environment which is vilified by them daily.
“We still have a challenge of people believing that the municipality is the only one that is supposed to clean the town, whereas we are all responsible for keeping the city clean.”
“The keep taxi ranks clean project is still ongoing but is faced with a lot of problems. We have resorted to even introducing other new projects in a bid to change their mind-sets, but we still have problems. Some projects provided to the street vendors teach them about being able to clean the taxi ranks, but our biggest challenge is that most projects are not successful due to lack of attendance by the very street vendor and taxi operators,” said Lebitsa.
MCC spokesperson Lintle ‘Makatleho Mosala also added that they have a challenge of changing Basotho’s mind-set about keeping the environment clean.
“We are however still continuing through different approaches to teach people about the importance of a clean environment and their roles.
“We are trying everything in order to inform people about keeping the environment clean, we share information on radios, hold community gatherings, and whenever we see a place where people mostly litter, we write boards that show that that place is not for littering.”
Mosala told Newsday that street vendors are responsible to an office called Market Office.
“There are Area Inspectors under that office who are attached to different areas where street vendors work. They inspect everything that is happening around, including the cleanliness of the environment.
“We are in the process to reinforce the municipal by-laws and introduce municipal police so that people should be punished when they do not abide by them,” Mosala revealed.
“Street vendors and taxi conductors are paid because they clean every day. We use our car to collect the rubbish when the street vendors and taxi conductors have finished cleaning,” she added.