The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement has threatened to dump tons of trash on the premises of the Katima Mulilo Town Council offices after the environment ministry shut down the local authority’s landfill in May this year.
The closure has led to a chronic waste problem, with trash strewn all over some residential areas. In a statement this week, the AR gave the town council until 20 August to address the situation.
“All poor neighbourhood areas like Chefuzwe, Mafuta, Kambinda and Liselo, are invited to load the rubbish which is being thrown in your jurisdiction by council and dump it at the KMTC premises if the situation doesn’t change by August 23, and also if no positive response is received,” read the statement.
“We are informing the mayor and the entire council, this is not a threat, but we mean business as we have waited for far too long.”
Attempts to reach the town’s CEO Raphael Liswaniso proved futile, as he did not respond to text messages, while his phone went unanswered. Meanwhile, environmental commissioner Timoteus Mufeti told New Era yesterday they have temporarily permitted the town council to operate at a local burrow pit, which they have secured.
“This is temporary to allow the council to relieve the town and residents, while they work towards lodging an application for an environmental clearance certificate so that they can operate legally,” he said.
In addition, Mufeti said the ministry was made aware of the process council had to go through in getting a substantive area, as they had to engage the Mafwe Traditional Authority to be provided with land.
The town’s dumpsite, which was declared illegal and subsequently shut down following numerous directives to close it as it was against the Environmental Management Act, is situated about 200 metres behind the Meatco abattoir.
It was set up in 2018 as a temporary landfill, while the town secures a long-term solution to the waste problem. “So, the place secured is in our view of the required parameters and manageable environmental standing. Council has limited time to lodge the application, but we hope by end of this year they will be licensed to operate legally,” stressed Mufeti.