Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Beitbridge Municipality is courting investors to partner it in the construction of a modern landfill, management of the environment and solid waste projects in line with the town’s transformation into a city, an official has said.
Briefing Vice President Kembo Mohadi and other stakeholders who participated at the National Day of Clean-up last Friday, Town Clerk Mr Loud Ramakgapola said solid waste management had become a perennial headache for the local authority.
He said the present landfill was failing to cope with the town’s accelerated growth.
Mr Ramakgapola said they were concerned with the high level of littering around the town and its environs and highways, leading to either Bulawayo or Harare.
“The town’s population has been growing rapidly in the last decade and we estimate it to above 60 000,” he said. “In addition we have 390 000 people who pass through monthly going to either South Africa or countries north of the Zambezi via Beitbridge Border post.
“Such a development is putting a strain to the town’s infrastructure and other related services considering that we have to provide people centred services to both visitors and local residents.
“At the moment we are working on constructing a proper landfill. A site has been identified but an acute shortage of funds is our greatest in doing and hence we are calling for partnership from private players so that we may improve in that area.
“Further, we are appealing for Government to increase our budget allocation for infrastructure and social amenities development considering the demand of our services and our geographical local with one of Africa’s economic powerhouses.”
Mr Ramakgapola said the town was producing over 700 tonnes of solid waste monthly and 20 tonnes daily.
The town clerk said though they have been up to schedule in terms of waste collection from residential, businesses and industry they were faced with an acute shortage of equipment including refuse collection trucks.
Mr Ramakgapola said at the moment they relied on one tractor and one compactor to cover the whole town.
“We are appealing for assistance to procure another tractor and a compactor to improve our presence on the ground,” he said.
“Further, we are encouraging investors and communities to look at recycling as an opportunity to put money in. We hope that this will improve our environment management system at the same time creating jobs for the community.
“Disposable beer containers, food packages, diapers and plastics are the major pollutants around our town.”