By Marshall Bwanya
Harare City Counciil (HCC) spokesperson Michael Chideme has said the local authority will not supply sanitizers or any protective gear to people who live on the street.
Chideme told Open Council, supplying street kids and other homeless people with protective mechanisms would seem like a green light for them to continue living there.
“HCC will not supply any santizers or protective equipment to people who live on the streets.
“Handing out sanitizers sends out a wrong message that you want them on the streets, when in fact they are not supposed to be on the streets in the first place.
“It is the responsibility of Social Welfare to ensure that they are relocated from the streets to proper hygienic shelters where the environment is conducive to exercise preventive measures against the Coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
Chideme said although HCC would not avail any sanitizers to people who live on the streets, the local authority was carrying awareness campaigns for everyone.
Three cases of citizens that tested positive to COVID-19 virus have been reported so far.
Young journalist Zororo Makamba has become the first victim to succumb to the Coronavirus in Zimbabwe.
The United Nations reports that, globally, an estimated 150 million children live on the streets today.
The number children living on the streets in Zimbabwe is hard to determine with accuracy.
In the late 1980s, these children became a more and more common facet of the urban landscape of Zimbabwe.
People who live on the streets have been known to lead unhygienic and undesirable lifestyles according to societal standards, that could potentially spread the COVID-19 pandemic in Harare’s CBD.
The bulk of people who live on the streets are streekids.
UNICEF defines streekids as minors who haved not reached adulthood who have made the streets their permanent or temporary abode.
One of the street kids who identified himself as Solo professed ignorance about Coronavirus and the detrimental effects it had on human beings.
“I am not aware of this Coronavirus, how it is spread and what preventative measures I am supposed to take to protect myself.
“I survive on begging and left over food, and this has not been detrimental to my health to any effect,” he said.