9 October 2018

Botswana: Poor Waste Management May Attract Birds

Gamodubu — Kweneng regional landfill has turned out to be a habitat for various birds such as the Cattle eaglet, Yellow- billet Egret, Pied Crow , Cape Turtle dove and others.

According to bird population monitoring programme officer at Bird Life Botswana, Ms Keddy Moleofi, the landfill is crowded with birds because their original habitat had been destroyed.

The presence of the birds at the landfill regulated the insects population, hence speeding up decomposition.

Pied Crow eat rodents and decayed meat and while others such as Cape Turtle Doves eat seeds, porridge, sorghum or starch.

Ms Moleofi said in cases where there were fire outbreaks in the landfill, the insect eating birds would flock there in large numbers to eat insects that would be trying to escape the fire.

However, she said the influx of Pied Crows at the landfill was an indication of poor waste management, explaining that the waste had to be covered.

The other negative aspect of Pied Crow is that they eat kids (baby goat) and chicks since food would not be available to feed their growing population.

Ms Moleofi expresed concern that birds might pick broken bottles or plastics, adding that landfill was not a good habitat for them.

She explained that under normal circumstances, when birds look for food, they found nutrients since they got various food while landfills were mixed up and they were likely to eat the same food over a certain period.

"If these birds can eat poison there, they will die and no one is going to report them despite that not happening often," she lamented.

She said Cape Turtle Doves were likely to affect villagers because they would make noise in the morning and at night more especially when they live in nearby trees and terrorise people during the ploughing season.

In addition, she said some small animals like Black tipped Mongoose will also be scavenging there to eat the birds or their eggs.

For her part, Gamodubu Village Development Committee chairperson, Ms Sefela Gaopatwe said birds such as Pied Crow were a nightmare because they ate kids, crops and eggs.

She said the birds were there because it took a long time for the disposed waste to be covered.

"At one point, we had asked the management of the landfill to kill all the birds there but they turned down that suggestion," she said.

Furthermore, she said some of the birds took the meat pieces out of the landfill and end up being eaten by dogs and when dogs do not get access to the meat again they kill and eat domestic animals.

Ms Gaopatwe said the animal rights associations should come and get the stray dogs because they were advocating for them not to be killed yet when they failed to find food in the landfill they ate their goats.

Source : BOPA

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