Namibia: Dumpsite Smoke a Health Hazard

A DUMPSITE, which was supposed to be temporary, is now a health hazard to the residents of Katima Mulilo town because of smoke coming from the burning rubbish.

In 2019, the Katima Mulilo town council moved the dumpsite, which was situated north-west of the town, because it was pausing the same health hazard to the University of Namibia's Katima Mulilo campus, Zambezi Vocational Training Centre (VTC) and Macaravan informal areas. However, the same problem is being experienced at the new site, which is in an industrial area about 200 metres behind the Katima Mulilo abattoir. The Namibian spoke to a business owner in the area, Nick van Zyl, who noted that for three years they have had to go about business as usual regardless of the smoke hampering them.

"We are suffering. Some people even fall sick because of the smoke coming from the dumpsite. During the night, you cannot sleep because of the intense smoke. We close our windows but it does not help. Last year, I had to instruct my workers not to come to work early because of the smoke, as they cannot work in such harsh conditions," he said.

According to Van Zyl, he made several complaints to the town council's chief executive officer Raphael Liswaniso who told him they are looking for a new site.

Another resident Regina Simwanza noted that her entire house smells like smoke, saying that it does not help to close the windows and door because the smoke is too much and still enters.

"We cannot sleep peacefully because of the smoke. My kids are coughing all the time. This cannot continue, the town council seems not to care for our wellbeing. The dumpsite needs to be relocated as soon as possible," she said.

The Katima Mulilo town council's spokesperson, Chrispin Muyoba, promised to get back with a response but never did. Initially, the Katima Mulilo town council's plan was to secure land in the Liselo area, which is under the jurisdiction of the Mafwe Traditional Authority, to move the dumpsite away from town.

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