BY SILAS NKALA
LACK of machinery is reportedly crippling the Bulawayo City Council (BCC)’s landfill management activities amid calls by the city fathers for the removal of the Ngozi Mine squatters as their lives are endangered by fire breakouts and pollution as a result, and that have also cost council a lot of money.
Latest BCC minutes state that huge amounts of refuse were disposed of at Richmond Landfill, site popularly known as Ngozi Mine, during the month of February 2022.
“Lack of machinery had affected operations at the landfill. The landfill compactor, dozer and front-end loader had been off the road for over a year. We depend on hiring machinery, which was proving to be expensive. If only our machinery was repaired, this would serve us,” read the minutes.
The council minutes said the illegal settlers at Ngozi Mine landfill site should be engaged on the dangers of fire and pollution.
“The fires at the landfill site cost council a lot of money and are a health hazard to the nearby communities. Councillor Felix Mhaka felt that council should evict all the landfill site (Ngozi Mine) settlers, and that relevant by-laws should be enforced to protect the landfill site,” read the minutes.
Councillor Sikhululekile Moyo is said to have sought clarification on littering and dumping fines in Bulawayo, adding that every shop, store, or building in the central business district (CBD) should have a litter bin outside.
Indications were that there was need to also erect concrete litter bins at every street corner in the CBD.
The minutes also stated that deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube was concerned about vandalism in the CBD.
“Refuse collection in the CBD was very poor. There were areas which had not been collected for the past four months. The area next to Revenue Hall had a lot of refuse. More refuse compactors should be allocated to the CBD. Cleaning of refuse in the CBD should be done timeously. Community sweepers should be encouraged to monitor their areas,” the minutes read.
Council also noted that Cowdray Park was often affected by smoke from the Ngozi Mine landfill.
The city fathers suggested that a perimeter fence should be erected at the landfill site and all the nearby illegal settlers should be evicted.
Alderman Monica Lubumbi also raised concern over vagrants in the Bulawayo CBD, who start fires in litter bins during winter.
The BCC health division noted that surveillance was being done in litter hotspots, adding that refuse collection in the CBD would improve soon, while illegal landfill sites should be barricaded and all settlements near landfills