Byo residents lobby EMA on abandoned pits

Bulawayo residents have lobbied the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to compel the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to cover up abandoned pits in residential suburbs following the death of three people in the last week.

In Pelandaba West, a fifteen-year-old boy drowned last week while two more males aged 18 and 20 drowned Saturday evening.

Other residential suburbs which such dangerous pits are Pumula South, Entumbane, Mpopoma and Luveve.

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) coordinator Khumbulani Maphosa has written a letter to EMA pleading for the agency to ensure that the local authority attends to the pits in the shortest possible time.

“MIHR would like to report disused and abandoned open sandpits in the City of Bulawayo which have posed as environmental hazards and life risks to the residents,” he said.

“We implore EMA to compel BCC to close these pits. Stone boulders and heaps of sand are already in the vicinity of these pits and can be used to execute the task. Five people have already lost their lives from last year to date, three of which died this year. BCC is aware of the existence of these pits and the danger they pose to the life of the residents. On December 14, 2020, the issue was brought to the City’s Chairperson of Environmental Management and Engineering Services Committee.”

City council public relations officer Bongiwe Ngwenya had not yet responded to the questions emailed to her at the time of publishing.

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)

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