8 June 2018

Namibia: Katima Residents Lament Late Rubbish Removal

Residents of Choto compound at Katima Mulilo say they are forced to live in unhygienic conditions for months because the town council does not collect rubbish on time.

Choto compound has about 1 930 residential erven, most comprising mud houses.

The disgruntled residents who spoke to The Namibian yesterday said they pay N$83,55 a month for refuse collection to the Katima Mulilo town council, yet they do not get the service on time.

"This situation is getting out of hand because they can go up to three months before coming to pick up the trash. This is just poor service delivery on their part as we do our part to pay and gather the rubbish, and put it nicely to be collected," stressed Harriet Mbala.

Another unsatisfied resident, Esther Shakanda, told The Namibian that they have now resolved to burn the refuse at their homes, which is a health hazard for them.

"We have no choice but to burn the refuse right in front of our houses because it is piling up. The council gives a lot of excuses when we ask, but they gladly take our hard-earned money every month," she observed.

Agnes Mwezi, who also spoke to The Namibian yesterday, said anyone with eyes can see how dirty the streets are because of the uncollected refuse.

"When we go and put the rubbish outside, the plastic bags are torn by scavenging dogs, and the rubbish gets blown all over by the wind. The other thing is we are not even provided with plastic bags. This is a big problem for us, and the council should start providing better services," she pleaded.

Others like Yvonne Kamwi have resorted to taking the garbage to the dumpsite by using private transport.

"This is costing us double because although we pay for services, we still fill up our cars to take the rubbish away from our homes," she added.

The Katima Mulilo town council's chief marketing and communications officer, Muyoba Muyoba, told The Namibian that Choto is a large township, and the contractor responsible for refuse removal currently only has one truck. It thus takes time for them to collect the rubbish.

"The other issue is that since it is a big township, by the time people collecting reach the end of the houses, rubbish will already be piling up where they had started.

However, we are busy looking into the matter. In future, we think maybe we should give the tender to two contractors, who will cater for the needs of the township's residents. We are asking that the community be patient with us," he said.

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