Residents call for closure of Gwanda’s old dumpsite

03 Dec, 2021 - 00:12 0 Views
Residents call for closure of Gwanda’s old dumpsite The dumpsite that residents of the Hlalani Kuhle/Garikai area in Gwanda want closed

The Chronicle

Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Chronicle Reporter
RESIDENTS from Hlalani Kuhle/Garikai area in Gwanda have urged the town’s municipality to close a dumpsite condemned 10 years ago situated close to their homes as it poses a public health threat.

After the dumpsite was condemned a new one was identified but council has not started using it as it does not have a compactor.

As a result, the old dumpsite which is situated between Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic College and Hlalani Kuhle/Garikai houses is still in use.

The dumpsite has also become a feeding ground for baboons and monkeys who go on to become a menace for residents.

Some children have turned the dumpsite into a playground and residents have had to put up with hazardous smoke coming from there.

Recent studies have found that air pollution is linked to childhood cancers and cognitive impairment in both children and adults.

Prolonged exposure to air pollution can also lead to heart and lung- related illnesses.

Residents have since engaged council to move the dumpsite which they say is affecting them.

A Gwanda resident, Mrs Glenda Nare said they have had to put up with the pollution for a very long time.

“We have been patient for too long and it’s time that council moves this dumpsite.

I’m one of the residents who live close to the dumpsite. We inhale all the smoke when they are burning rubbish at the dumpsite. We are constantly coughing because of the smoke that we inhale.

A lot of litter is blown from the dumpsite to our houses and then we have the task to pick it up,” she said.

“Our children wander off to the dumpsite and they pick up food remains and they eat. Sometimes children fall sick because of the food they would have picked up at the dumpsite.

Children even pick up used condoms and start playing with them or blowing air into them thinking they are balloons. The filthy stench from the dumpsite is unbearable.”

Mr Farai Dizha said baboons were a huge menace because of the dumpsite. He said the dumpsite was attracting the animals which go on to vandalise their property.

Mr Dizha said they have tried to engage council over the matter for years but nothing has been done.

Ward 8 councillor, Ntutukho Ndebele said last week the residents demonstrated against the continued use of the dumpsite.

He said residents wanted to block council trucks from dumping waste at the dumpsite.

Clr Ndebele said the municipality had to call an urgent meeting in order to deliberate over the matter.

He said the health and housing committee was set to deliberate over the matter early next month and it will be further discussed at a full council meeting.

Clr Ndebele said the baboons were also being a menace at Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic College.

Environmental Management Authority (Ema) Matabeleland South provincial manager Mr Decent Ndlovu said the authority engaged council to address the problem.

He said the dumpsite was condemned about 10 years ago and a new landfill was identified for the municipality.

“We have issued the municipality orders instructing them to close down the dumpsite but they have not complied.

That dumpsite poses a danger to people.

The municipality has stated that they can’t use the new landfill as they don’t have a compactor and they can’t purchase because of financial constraints.

We have asked the municipality to give us a time frame but they have failed,” he said.

“We have advised the municipality that if they want to continue using the condemned dumpsite while waiting to purchase a compactor, they must fence it and not burn waste but they have not complied.” — @DubeMatutu

Share This: