Makokoba, Mzilikazi most affected by illegal dumpsites: EMA

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has identified Makokoba and Mzilikazi as the suburbs most affected by illegal dumpsites in Bulawayo due to uncollected refuse.

This came out in a response to a petition submitted by Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) on January 14, demanding the disclosure of its charges against BCC for its failure to address the sewerage burst problems and waste collection.

The local authority is mandated to collect refuse once a week in high density suburbs and once every fortnight in low density suburbs.

In December, BCC lapsed in refuse collection, a development they attributed to fuel shortages.

Residents resolved to dump their litter at undesignated areas resulting in environmental pollution.

EMA stated that plans were underway to identify all areas that had been turned into illegal dumpsites and the city council would soon be instructed to clean these areas.

“The 2020 festive season saw an increase of illegal dumps. Unfortunately, the availability of fuel to correct the situation coincided with the strike by BCC workers thereby worsening the situation,” the letter read.

“The Agency has started to map the dumps on the most affected areas like Makokoba and Mzilikazi so as to prepare orders to serve BCC to clear the waste as the Agency does not condone the prevailing situation in the city.”

EMA highlighted that despite the challenges, BCC had been reputable in being the best local authority in the country in terms of solid waste management.

“BCC has been thriving to be indifferent to any other local authority countrywide in terms of solid waste management. It has come up with good initiatives that are giving positive results. There are community sweeping groups, use of community trucks for waste collection and the Bulawayo Solid Waste Improvement Platform (BSWIP),” the letter read.

“However, during 2020 festive season we noted a change in the waste collection as BCC was no longer following their waste collection schedule. The council’s cleaning department was engaged and they highlighted that they were facing fuel challenges.”

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)