By Itai Muzondo
Masvingo – September 9, 2015 – The elderly usually refer to their date of birth in relation to the most prominent incident occurring in that particular year like, ‘I was born in the year of hunger’ which can be equated to the rampaging houseflies which are tormenting the Victoria Range residents who live next to Masvingo’s old dump site.
In interviews with Radio VOP, most residents expressed dissatisfaction to council’s failure to relocate the city’s dump site for more than five years which they say is the source brewing the uncontrollable flies infesting their homes and let alone pose health threats.
“This place is a real health hazard. Since we started building our houses more than five years ago, we have been informed that the dump site will be moved but until this day, it has remained an eyesore to us and the biggest problem now are these flies that have infested our homes,” said Josphat Nyika.
“We have had reports that we were awarded stands on top of graveyards and ultimately flies are emerging as a sign of disapproval of the settlement by the dead. That being the case, council should act and move this dumpsite so that we are able to see what the real source of this problem is.
“Should it be noticed that the problem is either superstitious or mechanical, the responsible authority should quickly amend it because no one wants to be surrounded by flies,” said Alice Kwangwari.
“The dumpsite is a real problem considering that we are settled here with children who are attracted to the waste dump. They may easily catch diseases as they play there or we may suffer from diseases ferried by the flies to our homes as they have become a common site this side,” said Erica Chibaya.
Vashandiri Housing Cooperative which developed a better half of the stands in the suburb blasted the city council for their negligence in moving the dumpsite from an area people have since occupied.
“Council is arrogant and ignorant. We pleaded with them that they move the dumpsite before people settled in Victoria Range but they were ignorant. They once promised that they would move it to the CSC Farm where they had found suitable land for the dumpsite but nothing has materialised.
“The situation has not affected Victoria Range only but nearby suburbs such as Runyararo West. Flies this side are so disturbing. In short, I can say they are short changing residents of their hard earned money they are paying for services which they are failing to provide,” said the cooperatives chairperson Goddart Dunira.
Masvingo City Council chief health environmental officer, Zvapano Munganasa said council is aware of the challenge though he repeatedly highlighted that the service provider has failed to swiftly tackle the problem as they are currently facing financial problems.
“We are aware of the scenario there but we are yet to rectify the problem as soon as we champion our financial problems.
“We tried hiring a contractor to remove the waste but the work could not commence as he demanded an upfront payment which we could not afford. It is also unfortunate that Victoria range is not on our master plan, it falls under the rural district council and it was built so fast that the new dumpsite is not yet functioning, we still use the old one,” said Munganasa.
Meanwhile, Masvingo City Council is under fire for another looming hazard at Masvingo’s Cross Border Terminus which is running with no critical health facilities as toilets.
The council is also on record of constructing toilet facilities for Chitima Market, the city’s biggest market only after pressure groups intervened.