Monday, November 4, 2013

Municipal health official flouts residents living close to Kurasini sewage pond

In a move to ensure the environmental cleanliness within various suburbs in Temeke district, Dar es Salaam region, a municipal health official has said that, residents of Kurasini suburb in the city have no reasons to murmur about the presence a sewage pond which has been inconveniencing them now for years.  Ernest Mamuya who is In-charge of environmental cleanliness said that, the presence of Kurasini Pond which was constructed way back during colonial time is legal and that, the surrounding people had flouted the rules by constructing their houses close to it. He said currently the Temeke municipal Council cannot handle out such grievances which have been raised by the protesting residents about the presence of the pond in their residential areas because the pond is now being managed by Dar es Salaam based Water and Sanitary Authority (DAWASA). Moreover, he added that, in the near future the people residing close to the area would be required to vacate leave the area in order to pave the way for the intended investments related to the construction of storage facilities for the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA). Earlier, the officer addressed a press conference yesterday in Dar es Salaam that, among the factors contributing to the environmental pollution within the municipal council was haphazard construction of the residential houses, a situation which he said causes encroachment in their dwelling places. Mamuya was highlighting various steps which have been taken so far by his municipal council in a move to ensure a sustainable development in aspects of hygiene for which the municipal council is spearheading under the campaign dubbed “Temeke Usafi Kwanza” meaning that, in Temeke cleanliness should be prioritized. However, he noted other factors as lack of infrastructural upgrades in haphazard settlements, lack of public sewer systems, and the intolerable habit being practiced by the majority of the people around of discarding waste materials and do not dispose them in sanitary ways. Another serious factor he noted is the habit by some people who are not aware of the principles of hygiene and do not follow heath rules and instead are draining sewer water during rainy seasons and direct their confluence through open constructed water trenches. Other factors he noted are the illegal connection of the sewer water from the industries through rain water trenches, as well as lack of storage facilities for the collected solid waste materials. He said these are persisting due to poor knowledge people have about health care standards. Despite efforts shown by the municipal council to maintain cleanliness in their suburbs, he said that, there are still many challenges which are faced with. He mentioned some of them as petty businesses which are being conducted at night in prohibited areas. Other challenges he said are lack of enough places or collection points on which to preserve solid wastes, and also lack of enough latrines and poor water supplies in most schools in the district. With the above mentioned challenges, however he said that, his municipal council is struggling hard to educate people on their basic responsibilities so as to make sure that, they keep their surroundings in a most hygienic manner at their places of business or at their residential houses. On his part, an officer in charge of environment in the municipal council, William Muhemu said that, the municipal council generates approximately 1138 tones of solid waste  per day in business places whose collections is being carried out by councils’ vehicles which he said are not enough to carry the work, an aspect that sometimes have to hire individual cars to do the job.  He said due to the scarcity of vehicles, the municipal has set aside a total of Sh. 434.3 million in 2013/14 budget to purchase vehicles to be used for collection. However, he said the municipal intends to buy one compactor with its trailer 40 ft size for transporting the wastes to a dumping site. Other things to be purchased he said are 3 machines to be used for road cleaning, and one lorry to be used for waste collection and 3 storage containers to be used  waste facilities. Speaking on the challenges faced by the municipal in waste collection, he noted that, there is a large volume of waste solid materials which are left uncollected for long due to lack of working facilities, a thing which he said the municipality works upon. Lack of enough money to facilitate the collection work as this is more aggravated by the increased number of population hence there is an increase of people’s economic production activities for their daily life. 

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