Illegal dumping of waste is taking its toe in Gokwe Center posing a threat to the community and the environment.
Vast piles of waste, old household items, agricultural and industrial chemicals, construction waste, and used products are often dumped by the roadside, streets, and in Central Business District (CBD) and at non-designated sites.
“It is no longer uncommon to see or find huge piles of waste, old house items, construction waste, or used products dumped by the roadside, in the streets, or at non-designated sites. This trend is on the rise and is increasingly becoming a problem because it hinders the objective of keeping the environment clean and can have serious impacts on wildlife and habitat,” said Lovemore Majavhu.
According to the environmental protection agencies and departments, this malpractice is termed illegal dumping. It is considered unlawful on account of the harm it causes to the environment.
“There is an increase of illegal dumpsites in Gokwe, Mapfungautsi, Nyaradza, and Njelele where the residents are very ignorant and not aware that they are committing a crime against Environmental Management Agencies (EMA) policies.
“We have officially designated areas with properly integrated waste management systems, which should be used for dumping. We plead with Gokwe community to observe and apprehend protocols of disposing of wastes in designated sites,” said Deputy Mayor Mungweni.
“Illegal dumping damages the environment, land, water, and soil and air pollution in the neighborhood. The chemicals and non-biodegradable materials in the waste affect the physical environment and the waterways by contaminating groundwater and soil.
“The wastes can also spread weeds and pests, therefore, affecting agriculture and wildlife. Wildlife and domesticated animals can also die after consuming poisonous materials such as plastics and chemicals from the waste.
“Some people are simply too lazy to bring their trash to official dumping sites. A fraction of our society also does not care about the illegal dumping problem and its consequences. They do so by completely avoiding prosecution and detection, which means that they do know their act is unlawful,” said Alexandor Nyandoro the spokesperson of EMA.
“The illegal dumping of chemicals, tires, and green waste can augment the risk of wildfires. Cigarette butts may also start fires especially on the dumping sites we see at the outskirts of Mapfungautsi and Njelele. We are also looking forward to the Gokwe town council to help us as residents through an educational campaign on how to dispose of our wastes properly in designated areas,” said Prosper Zurura of Nyaradza location.
Councilor Taruvinga of ward 15 pointed out that, cases of residents disposing of waste themselves are on the rise. This habit is associated with the avoidance of paying disposal fees at waste management sites. The people who engage in such acts are of the opinion that the prevailing waste collection fees are exorbitant.
“Therefore, instead of following the rightful channels for disposing waste or paying third party waste pick up services, they illegally dispose the waste in remote locations.
“Some people are simply too lazy to bring their trash to official dumping sites. A fraction of our society also does not care about the illegal dumping problem and its consequences. They do so by completely avoiding prosecution and detection, which means that they do know their act is unlawful.
“As a matter of fact, most of the items illegally disposed of, such as old appliances, furniture can be easily recycled or even reused. So, it can be concluded that most of the people engaging in acts of illegal dumping simply do not understand the importance of reuse or the concept of recycling waste. Hence a lack of education also contributes to illegal dumping,” said Taruvinga.