THE Dar es Salaam City Council (DCC) has said that it is planning to institute regulations that will create a body to handle scavengers' safety at the dump site in Pugu Kinyamwezi on the outskirts of the City centre and elsewhere in the region.
DCC Public Relations Officer, Mr Gaston Makwembe told the 'Daily News on Saturday' in Dar es Salaam early this week that currently there was no mechanism that super- vises scavengers' operations at dump sites.
It is estimated that more than 400 people earn a living by scavenging at dump sites. Further revelations indicate that an individual can make up to 40,000/- a day through sifting the garbage and extracting useful waste such as scrap metal, plastics and slaughtered animals bones.
The wastes have generated 'lucrative' business for many city dwellers. Products like scrap metals are sold to the local factories which then recycle them into useable products," according to Mr Makwembe. He said: "The Council is currently focusing on management of the solid waste at the site, which needs to change and shift its priorities to address the health and occupational safety of those who have employed themselves at the site."
DCC is also looking into ways of involving other stake- holders who are buying the useable waste from the scavengers to be involved in the new waste management plan. Recently the 'Sunday News' carried a story indicating that the scavengers at the dump site were roaming around sifting the garbage without protective gear, thus posing health hazards to them.
Hazardous waste are characterized by inflammability, corrosives, toxicity or reactivity which needs landfill managers to assess the garbage and recommend treatment and processing before their disposal at suitable landfill sites, says DCC Waste Management of- ficial, Mr Protus Membe.
The term 'landfill' is used worldwide to describe a unit operation for final disposal of 'Municipal Solid Waste' designed and constructed with the objective of ensuring minimum impact to the environment. Critics of waste management at the Kinyamwezi dump site argued that waste characterization that involves an assessment of the soil and dump site history require analysis to ensure that there is minimum corrosiveness, toxicity or reactivity and many others to scavengers.
Mr Membe admitted that the council lacks improved equipment to handle waste at dumps sites. But he was quick to say that under the Dar es Salaam Metropolitan Development Project which is to take off next year, such matters like waste management and provi- sion of equipment will be ad- dressed.
The project, according to him, will include all infrastructures including waste management at the dump sites in the region which has already been endorsed, he said. He said that the choice of Pugu Kinyamwezi dump site was appropriate since feasibility study was conducted to establish its suitability.
Environmental impact assessment was also carried out. He also explained that DCC workers deployed at the dump site are provided with safety gear for their protection from hazard- ous materials. DCC workers working at the site have confirmed to be provided with protective gear.
Speaking to this newspaper early this week, the Ilala Public Relation Officer, Ms Tabu Shai- bu, said that the staff working for garbage collection agencies (contractors) are also required to use protective gear. "We have inspectors who conduct spot checks to estabish that there is full compliance in the use of such gears, including visits to those who are deployed to clean in the streets," she said.
collection by-laws. "Our inspectors are making on the spot checks all the time to ensure there is compliance to the by-laws," he said. Temeke officials could not be reached for their comment. Recently our sister newspaper 'Sunday News' reported that the dump site which is located about 35km from the city centre is facing similar problems that few years ago prompted DCC authorities to shift the site to Pugu Kinyamwezi.
The site was initially at Mtoni and later moved to Kigogo, also in the city. According to local residents, the garbage dump site is posing a serious threat to public health problems due to emissions from burning condemned foodstuff dumped in the site. "Some of the food which is brought in the site is recycled due to lack of controls as the staff deployed in the area are overwhelmed by the size of the dump," said a source working in the site.