Trash irks Hakahana residents

24 January 2019 | Local News

Residents of the Hakahana informal settlement in the capital are up in arms against the City of Windhoek, claiming it has failed in the timely collection of garbage, forcing them to live in unhygienic conditions.

In an interview with Nampa, some community members explained that rubbish had not been collected since October 2018, and that the problem has been ongoing for the past three years.

Resident Elifas Swartbooi said they were tired of complaining to the municipality because the problem does not get attended to.

“If we call the municipality to come and collect this rubbish, they just say the truck is in the garage. Maybe we should just let it be like that because those people don't care about us,” said Swartbooi.

Another resident, Chris Gawanab who is wheelchair-bound, said he struggles to breathe due to the smoke from the burning trash in the full skip container.

“I am a quadriplegia patient and due to my condition, I hardly breathe when those community members are burning the rubbish because the smoke comes inside my room and it makes me feel sick,” Gawanab stressed.

The community members added that the City's workers only collect the black plastic bags and leave the rest behind, noting that some residents also urinate and defecate at the dumping site. They have repeatedly asked the municipality to build toilets and collect rubbish but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

Confirming the situation, the City's solid waste management officer in charge of the area, Puntu Tjivarue, said he is aware of the situation, but due to “the truck being busy somewhere else”, they are unable to collect the rubbish on time.

“Yes, I know, but we are working on a schedule as the truck is busy somewhere else. Windhoek is a big place and we cannot do all the work in a day. Once we get the truck, then we will clean it,” said Tjivarue.

The residents have called on the municipality to educate the residents on basic sanitary care, including the use of black plastic bags and the classification of rubbish and rubble that can be thrown into the skip containers availed to them.

- Nampa

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

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