Monday, May 4, 2015

DCC need billions of shillings to revamp a dumping site at Pugu Kinyamwezi

ABOUT Sh. 5 billion is needed to complete the on-going modernisation programme of a dumping site for solid waste materials that serves the three municipal councils of Temeke, Ilala and Konondoni in Dar es Salaam region. Located at Pugu Kinyamwezi 30 Km away on the west side direction of the Dar es Salaam city, the 65 hectares of land is the 11th designated city dumping site since independence time 54 years ago.  The acting head of solid waste management dept at Dar es Salaam City Council (DCC) Membe Protus Membe exclusively said on Monday this week in Dar es Salaam. He said that, lack of money has been an obstacle that slows down the quick pace of the modernization process of the site into a State-of-the art as earlier anticipated when a master plan for the site was designed five years ago. He noted that, the aim of the government is to move from the normal outdated dumping technology to sanitary land fill technology which is friendly as it complies with the environment. The site which currently is managed by DCC is the largest ever allocated site which started to operate in 2007, and was earlier planned to use the highly technological handling facilities for solid waste disposal that could enable the site last for 30 years.  However, he noted that, the dream might fail owing to the fact that about Sh. 450 million is annually being contributed by the government as subsidy which ironically is not enough to cater for the impending development initiatives at the site. According to him, the continued slow pace development activities taking place makes the site to continue using the outdated technological way of disposing solid waste materials that involves surface dumping. “Surface dumping preservation method is outdated considering the fact that Dar es Salaam is developing into a metropolitan city and is rapidly expanding in terms of population”, he said. However, he noted that the situation is not so conducive to the environment in such a way that during rainy seasons piles of solid waste at the site becomes humid an aspect that pose a great threat of the environmental health hazards to the people surrounding the site. Another reason he pointed out is that, “with the prevailing situation even during summer seasons the situation at the dumping site pose a threat as such piles of solid waste materials are likely to cause the so-called methane gas leading to the eruption of fire”. However, he said that despite efforts by the DCC to accumulate money to keep going the development project of the site, little it receives from the central government to boost the the development initiatives at the site. He said three years ago the DCC had embarked on the first phase modernization programme of the site by building a fence surrounding a perimeter of a compound that runs parallel with a road which has a stretch of 4,500 meters long. Already a portion of a 1,020 is constructed. The construction work which is being undertaken by Samatec Construction Company also involves a 2.1 kilometer stretch of road which connects three dump cell points at the site and their culverts with the main evaporation point. Describing the collection of waste materials in the city of Dar es Salaam, Membe noted that, inadequate number of refuse collection vehicles is still a problem in all three municipalities whose management portfolios mainly relies on contracted firms who do not use designed vehicles, an aspect that render the services into ineffectiveness. He further noted that, most contracted Community Based Organisation’s (CBOs) have low capacity to collect waste from generation points and transport them to final disposal site. In addition to that, he noted that poor community involvement in solid waste management is still a problem in most suburbs in Dar es Salaam. Statistics given by the DCC shows that, in three municipal councils, a total of 2,176 tonnes of solid waste is disposed to the site out of the generated 4,252 tonnes  produced in the city every day. This is equivalent to 51 percent of the collected amount which is dumped to the site. Responding to the given statistics, Membe said that, lack of vehicles hampers the exercise to a greater extent. However, he added that about 172 trucks from all municipalities manage to enter the site every day. DCC has been establishing dumping sites with Pugu Kinyamwezi site being the 11th since independence time. Others with the years of their establishment in brackets includes Mchafukoge (1962), Jangwani (1971), Mchikichini (1974), Shimo la Udongo (1980), Tabata (1984), Kunduchi (1989), Mbagala (1992), Vingunguti (2001) and Mtoni (2007).

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