The Lusaka City Council on Thursday swung into action and closed business premises in the Central Business District.
The council was accompanied by Public Health Inspectors, Health Committee Chairperson and Vice Councillor George Daka and Councillor Lackson Sakala respectively.
LCC Public Relations Manager George Sichimba has confirmed the development to Money FM News that the eight business premises, among them a restaurant, a butchery, a bakery and five non-food item shops.
Sichimba says the eight businesses were found trading in unsanitary conditions contrary to the Public Health Act.
“The restaurant was found operating with sewer discharging in an open environment because of the blocked sewer system within the premises. The butchery and bakery were closed for poor storage of food which was found piled on the floor contrary to the Food and Drugs Act and the Public Health Act. The other shops were closed for accumulated waste in front of their shops due to non-subscription to the solid waste management system,” he said.
He says it is believed that shop workers clear waste from their shops and dumps it on roadsides with the hope that the council will go and collect for free.
Sichimba says the closed business premises will only be reopened for business after meeting the set sanitary standards.
“The team also ordered bus drivers who have developed a habit of packing buses along the filter lane of Lumumba Road as they wait for their turn to load at City Market Bus Station to stop forthwith. The buses are creating a conducive environment for people to do illegal activities such as open defecation and illegal dumping of waste behind the parked buses,” he said.
The LCC Public Relations Manager has since appealed to business establishments and the general populous in Lusaka to maintain high standards of hygiene this rainy season and beyond.
“The local authority will not hesitate to close down all business outlets operating in unsanitary conditions to protect the general public from contracting diseases,” said Sichimba.
Meanwhile, LCC has demolished all makeshift stalls and booths mushrooming along Kafue Road reserve.
“The makeshift stalls and booths were erected without planning permission from the Council. The demolition took place today by a combined team of Council and State Police. The local authority moved in to stop the illegality before it gets out of hand. Kafue Road is one of the roads earmarked for expansion under the Lusaka Decongestion Project and the contractor, AFCON Construction, is already on site,” he said.