Heap of waste growing in Kanaan

07 October 2019 | Local News

Residents of Kanaan C informal settlement in Gobabis have raised concern over what they call “deteriorating inhumane conditions”, alluding to heaps of waste building up among homes increases in size every year.
One of the residents, Nicolas Gariseb – whose shack is situated next to the pile of waste – said that he has reached out to the town’s municipality countless times but nothing has been done. “The condition in which we live is a threat to our health, this pile of waste that you are seeing here has been building up for years and I have been living here for five years.”
Gariseb said whenever he went to the municipality to complain about that waste, municipal employees would come and look at the pile and allegedly say they would remove it, but then they go away and never come back.
When Nampa visited the site, Josephine Sietsisho whose shack is situated in front of the heap, was sharing a meal with her husband and their children. She has lived here for three years with her husband and eight children.
She said that her children are constantly ill and that she believes the waste, which is not too far from her front door, could be the contributing factor to her children’s constant sickness. “At times I’ll find my young ones playing on top of the garbage, which is not healthy because people throw all kinds of wastes there.”
Another resident, who requested to remain anonymous, told Nampa that when she moved to Kanaan C about six years ago, she had found the heap there, noting that she too has made requests to the municipality for them to remove the pile of garbage, but to no avail. “My neighbour, who lives across from my house, and I used to at least try to minimize the mount by burning the garbage but we have given up because there is no teamwork in this place. When one puts in the effort to clean, another comes and adds more garbage,” she explained.
She added that the situation has worsened over the years as some residents, especially children, have started relieving themselves there. “The smell that comes from that place is unbearable and when it rains it’s even worse. Children live in this surrounding and there are exposed to all those germs,” she said.
Inhabitants of the settlement lack ablution facilities and sewage services among other social amenities.
Approached for comment, the Gobabis municipality’s supervisor for Solid Waste and Sanitation, Christi Mutota, told said that she is aware of the heaps of waste in the settlement as she has visited the site herself. “We have removed numerous heaps in the surrounding but not the one in question as it is a challenge to remove because there is no space big enough for a front loader tractor to move freely.”
Mutota said she had explained to the residents that for the waste to be removed, some of their fences must be removed to create sufficient space for the front-loader to drive through and move freely as it scoops the waste.
The residents, however, claim that they have not been informed of such arrangements. – Nampa

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