Rundu to act on dumping

Home International Rundu to act on dumping


Rundu Mayor Verna Sinimbo is concerned about the rate at which some residents recklessly discard litter in and about the town.
She has urged residents to have a sense of ownership and to stop littering, saying Rundu Town Council has realised that many residents do not have a sense of ownership and do not care about the image of the town and litter as they please.
Asked what Rundu Town Council plans to do about the heaps of uncollected rubbish and plastic bags that litter the riverside town Sinimbo told New Era the town has in recent years seen a boom in infrastructure developments.
“It’s a fact. We cannot run away from the reality, our town as I’m talking now is in a sorry state. I must admit it. However, we realised that we need to work out certain ways to go about it. As a new council we inherited a lot of things (problems) we need to fix, including the issue of litter and other issues affecting residents,” she said.
Residents of the town blame the town council for not collecting refuse on time, which apparently compels them to dump litter on street corners and floodplains.
Over the past few years heaps of domestic refuse have been seen piling up in residential areas and floodplains, from where it gets blown by the wind into the streets, to the extent that the ubiquitous litter has become an eyesore.
Residents want the council to increase the frequency at which refuse collectors pick up garbage in and around Rundu.
“We’re looking at it from different perspectives. First, we need to instil that sense of ownership, that sense of pride in our people and thus we also need to educate them about the regulations that we have and fines that come with it and so forth. When we’ve done that then we can try to enforce the town’s regulations and laws.”
Rundu will initiate a sensitisation campaign to make residents aware of municipal laws and regulations through the radio and other media platforms, such pamphlets, she said.
“We want to do it gradually so that hopefully after a month or so people will be in position to know that if I do this the consequences will be a fine,” the mayor further stated.
She says this is also a process that they want to take step by step, starting with residents in Rundu to businesspeople, as well as street vendors, who will be told to sell only at designated places.
“As for now, the council has not been enforcing laws and regulations to discipline residents who litter anywhere,” she said.
“It starts with education, as our people need to understand that as a town we have our way of doing things. We cannot just allow them to do as they please, because otherwise we will never reach certain standards. We want to graduate from being a town council to being a municipality,” she said.
“What I can say is that it is pure ignorance. It’s not that they don’t know that we have a dumping site, it’s just that they are [too] lazy to drive to the dumpsite, or lack patience to wait for the town council to come pick up the rubbish, so they dump it anywhere, just because no one is seeing them.
“We cannot tolerate such people who are littering, because they are messing up our town. I mean this is a place we are supposed to call home and if you continue littering you will ruin the image of our town and it won’t attract investors and that will affect the pace of growth and development.
“We’re coming up with a strategy to prevent people from dumping in the floodplains and elsewhere. People, including shebeen owners and other business owners, should dump their waste, building rubble and garden refuse at the dumpsite if they can’t wait for our contracted refuse collectors and the town council to collect it at their doorsteps,” she added.