By Tinashe Mungazi
Hwange Local Board (HLB) has introduced an illegal solid waste dumping whistle blower facility as part of its efforts to curb littering in its area of jurisdiction.
This comes in the wake of increased illegal dumping in residential areas and along main roads with the local authority failing to bring culprits to book.
Dumping of litter resus in land and water pollution which outbreaks of diseases and destruction of ecosystems.
According to HLB public relations officer, Dumisani Nsingo the whistle blower facility is meant to curb illegal waste dumping through anonymous reporting.
“We are working on a raft of measures aimed at curbing solid waste dumping. We are looking at increasing our reward for reporting illegal dumping as a way of encouraging people to report offenders. We are aware that through incentivising people we will get a buy in from most residents in the process ensuring the cleanliness of our environment. Over and above that we are working on increasing penalties for any form of littering, ” said Nsingo.
The reward for reporting illegal dumping of waste was introduced last year and its currently ZWL140 while fines range from ZWL200 to ZWL700.
He said the fines imposed on illegal dumping were not for income generation as alleged by residents but a deterrent against the illegal activity.
“The fines as in our 2020 budget are as Illegal dumping $291.06, Reward for reporting illegal dumping $140, Litter flying off vehicle $420, Littering $420 and Failure to have bins on premise $700. It is however important to note that the increase in penalties is not in line with Council’s efforts to generate income but it’s more of putting in place deterrent measures to curb littering.”
Residents said they welcomed the move but expressed reservations on Council’s capacity to effectively implement the exercise.
Some residents said council was failing to collect waste at times rubbish going for weeks without being collected forcing them to resort to illegal dumping.
“Council is failing dismally in collection of waste sometimes going for weeks without collecting. You can imagine that by that time the bins are smelling and full with dogs and baboons spilling the contents. We are forced to end up dumping litter in undesignated places like by roadside and in bushes. Council is to blame for all this if we had a na efficient service I doubt this would be be happening, ” said Viola Ndlovu.
Council has already begun the process of clearing all illegal dumping sites in Empumalanga Phase 1/Old Empumalanga, Bagdad, DRC, Baobab, Chibondo and Industrial areas.
The local authority is also making use of the exercise to sensitise communities on proper solid waste management.