6 November 2018

Namibia: Uncollected Katima Rubbish a Health Hazard

Katima Mulilo — Uncollected piles of rubbish continues to pose a health hazard in Katima Mulilo after the town council nullified the refuse collection tender early last month, after it was ordered to re-advertise the rubbish tender by the Procurement Review Panel.

New Era reported last month three bidders who were unsuccessful applied for a review, after the Katima Mulilo Town Council disqualified them for reasons ranging from failure to own a truck, bidding outside the line of business and poor performance in previous bids.

The review panel said the town council violated the procurement act, and it thus ordered the council to re-advertise the tender. This order has however left a negative effect on the residents and public institutions in Katima Mulilo, who rely on council to collect their rubbish.

Piles of an assortment of rubbish has also remained uncollected for a month at the main market in Katima, posing a health hazard to government and other clients who frequent food stalls.

Speaking to New Era, the manager of the open market Gloria Siluka said the market does not have any other alternative as they sorely depend on the council to collect the garbage. "We don't have a vehicle to collect the garbage," she said.

Siluka added the uncollected garbage is a health threat to both the vendors and the customers. "I am appealing to the town council to put their house in order, because at the moment it is a mess. If this situation continues, no one will be entering the market because where the rubbish is being dumped, that is where the entrance to the market is," said Siluka.

The situation has been worsened by the onset of the rainy season that started at the town over the past few days and as the result, the uncollected garbage has started to rot and the smell attracted swarms of flies that have the potential to spread disease. Contacted for comment, the spokesperson of the Katima Mulilo Town Council, Muyoba Muyoba stated that council is working tirelessly to find an amicable and workable solution.

"Given that the procurement process take long, we have appointed emergency companies who have already started collecting the garbage as of last week," said Muyoba.

He said in the interim, a company was appointed on a short-term basis adding that it will take some time before it collects all the refuse because there are too many houses and businesses.

Some residents have in the meantime resorted to illegal dumping as a way of punishing council. Muyoba however pleaded with the residents to refrain from such actions.

"Illegal dumping is not a solution, it will only worsen the situation we are in. Because if an outbreak of cholera or any other disease arises, it will not be selective, everyone will be affected, therefore residents should just be patient while we resolve the situation," pleaded Muyoba.

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