Dar es Salaam. Regional authorities in Dar es Salaam have signed performance contracts with officials at ward and street levels as part of efforts to ensure cleanliness and order in the city of over 5 million people.
Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Amos Makalla said yesterday that the move is also aimed at making sure that petty traders, popularly known as machingas, do not return to unauthorised areas from which they were removed recently.
Mr Makalla made the revelation during an interview with Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) journalists when he visited the publishing firm’s head office.
Following President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s directive earlier this year, regional authorities managed to convince machingas to peacefully relocate to designated sites from road reserves, canals, public school surroundings, pavements, shopfronts and outside buildings housing government institutions.
They were to have relocated by the end of last month. This was largely successful, and their makeshift stalls and tables - which were scattered all over Dar es Salaam – were removed.
Announcing a special campaign to keep the city tidy, Mr Makalla said although the exercise had been largely successful, regional authorities had concluded that the city could be kept clean only if machingas operated from authorised sites.
“This is why we have signed performance contracts which will be used to gauge the effectiveness of officials in this endeavour,” he said.
Under the arrangement, the regional administrative secretary has prepared performance contracts which have been signed by district executive directors (DEDs) and district administrative secretaries (DAS’s). Those at the district level have henceforth signed similar documents with their subordinates who are the executive officers at the ward and street levels.
“With these contracts, we will be able to identify areas where cleanliness is not given its due importance, and where machingas are quietly coming back, and why. That way, we will be able to know who (among the officials) deserves to be there, and who should be removed,” he said.
He said the city cleanliness campaign, codenamed “Clean, Beautify Dar es Salaam”, was launched considering the fact that Dar es Salaam is the face of Tanzania and the main entry point for tourists and visitors from different nations.
With a Sh25.27 trillion contribution to Tanzania’s Sh148.5 trillion gross domestic product (GDP), Dar es Salaam is the most important region as far as the national economy is concerned.
According to Mr Makalla, Dar es Salaam is a business hub with its economic activities contributing to GDP by a huge percentage through industrialisation and other forms of business.
“This was why we decided to come up with a strategy to improve cleanlinness in Dar es Salaam,” he said.
To achieve the goal, Mr Makalla’s office has come up with ten specific issues that will be followed by officials in ensuring that the city is clean.
Under the plan, municipalities must control all arbitrary businesses and ensure they are put in planned and authorised areas with continuous improvement of their environments.
“The first directive is for all local actors to dispatch a formal letter to all institutions, whether public or private, directing them to protect their territories against invasion by machingas, and ensure their surrounding areas remain clean and dilapidated buildings are revamped,” he stressed.
Dilapidated buildings that are owned by government institutions must be urgently repaired to ensure their surrounding areas are clean.
Public recreational areas such as beaches will also be undergoing routine cleanliness exercises, urging local government officials to lead campaigns that will sensitise the public to clean their areas and have focal points where garbage is collected and kept.
Mr Makalla further directed all municipalities to go through their environment bylaws to acquaint themselves with what needs to be done to ensure the environment remains clean and by chance there are no laws enacting them and review those that are outdated.
He noted that every local government put up an agenda that sensitises cleanliness in their areas while municipalities were required to appoint skilled contractors with the right facilities as well as human resources to clean their areas.
“We will take stern action on any person that will destroy or steal tools put up to beautify the city,” Mr Makalla stressed.
Every Saturday of the end of the month from 6.30am to 9am will be time for Dar es Salaam residents to clean areas they either work or line in. Contrary to the one that was once designed by authorities in the city, this time around, emphasis will be on cleanliness and not on the time.
“So, if you want to open your shop early, wake up early and make sure that when officials visit your area, it has to be tidy. Should that be done, you can open your shop at any time before 9am,” he said.