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The church shows the way in maintaining a clean environment.

GLEN VIEW, Harare. Hundreds of United Methodist Church women, youths and pastors had their hands to the broom together with Harare City Council workers, undeterred by the powerful stench of uncollected garbage at Glen View 3 Shopping centre.

 
The United Methodist Church-organized clean campaign is a response to the piling garbage on street corners and at shopping centres of Harare’s high density suburbs. The program is within the scope of one of the Four areas of focus—Global Health.
 
The Zimbabwe West Annual Conference Health Board Chairpersons Cecilia Mukahanana and Perpertua Kaseke together with the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area Health Coordinator Mrs. Hannah Mafunda led the UMC members in the campaign held on 13 April 2013.  The participants were drawn up from six districts in Zimbabwe West Annual Conference. 
 
The campaign was themed; “CLEAN MIND CLEAN ENVIRONMENT—Hygiene  Starts With You!”
 
Informal vendors, however continue to have their wares strewn on empty crates and wooden makeshift market tables as they line up in a rectangular fashion, on a dirty ground, posing a serious health challenge to their customers.
 
Closure of public toilets and absence of running worsened the already bad situation, and that compounded with the filthy food courts and total disregard of usage of refuse bins creates a time bomb for the high populous area—Glenview that has been hit in the past by typhoid, cholera and malaria since 2009.  Numerous deaths from cholera and typhoid have been recorded.
 
The church through such initiatives has managed to engage the local authority (City of Harare), City Health Department and the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), as key stakeholders. Ms. Mupazi, Felistas Nyika (Sister-in-charge at Glen View 3 clinic), and Mr. R. Mapako represented their respective organizations.
 
Through these networking initiatives, the Germany Agro Action (GAA) donated 20 brooms,24 bars of soap,100 refuse bags, and 100 gloves.
 
His Excellency Councilor Muchadeyi Masunda, the Mayor of City of Harare in appreciation of the gesture by the church, provided through the council’s Amenities Department, 50brooms gloves, picks, shovels, refuse bags, face masks and a refuse collection vehicle to the campaign. 
 
“We continue putting our efforts towards grounding Christians within Glenview suburb on health-related issues” said Ms Mupazi. 
 
“We have launched Community Participation Training on 10 April to help the community with awareness and implementation at household level, take the responsibility to their communities. And by this the church will take a lead. Meetings will be held every Wednesday for an hour”, she added. 
 
The Community Participation Training involves voluntary male and female members.  German Agro Action (GAA) is providing with training and material for community health clubs. 
 
“We need to enforce that any informal vendor without a refuse bin be prohibited from selling to avoid littering and exposing the general public,” said Mr. R. Mapako an officer from EMA.
 
He implored the community to organize themselves and create a coordination and monitoring mechanism that will manage the cleanliness of the environment and grounds they are using.
 
Big refuse bins, drilling of boreholes has become a challenge to the Glenview area.  It was noted that there is more need for sensitizing the community on importance of keeping the city clean.
 
“This needs some social construct..” said Ruwarashe Mlambo (30) a participant from Kambuzuma Circuit. For him the working together of communities and/or participants is key in realizing the dream of a clean environment—which resultantly will contribute towards the bigger vision of a litter-free environment.
 
“It is worthwhile preaching to people in good health and, living in a good and healthy environment”, said Pastor Lovemore Sithole.  He further encourage the church through its various organs to teach people to have clean mind, clean environment and, collectively maintain clean shopping centres.
 
The United Methodist Church through its membership in the entire Episcopal Area continues to carry out programs in association with local authorities, health-related institutions and Non-Governmental organizations.
 
Health of the church is what the denomination considers of paramount importance in the quest of “Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.”
 
Story By: Chenayi Kumuterera

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