Dumpsite Causes Distress Among Students

Students at the University of Namibia (Unam) campus in Katima Mulilo have expressed the grave concern regarding a dumpsite situated in close proximity to the university grounds, which they say ‘poses a health hazard’.

Student representative council (SRC) vice-president Hosticks Ndozi yesterday confirmed their worries, saying several meetings took place between the students and the Katima Mulilo Town Council but to no avail.

Students are distressed the situation gets worse when waste management officials burn waste as the hazardous smoke engulfs the campus.

The SRC charged they raised the issue of the dumpsite being relocated last year but the town council has not yet acted.

A resolution was passed during last year’s meeting with the mayor of Katima Mulilo, Charles Matengu, on relocating the dumpsite far from people but nothing has come of that meeting, much to the chagrin of students.

“We first demonstrated and then we had a meeting with the governor (Lawrence Sampofu) and the mayor (Charles Matengu) regarding the dumpsite. At the time we agreed that it will be relocated. To our surprise on Monday we saw a dark cloud of smoke coming from the dumpsite again. They failed on their promise to relocate it. We can’t study well, we are all affected academically and mentally. The smoke is so bad that often we can’t breathe properly. It is so bad that you can’t even see a person walking in front of you,” one Unam student complained.

Further, they called on the government to intervene in the issue of the dumpsite being 800m west of Katima Mulilo campus.

“As a student leader I am saying this on behalf of my students – we should be saved from this dangerous problem as soon as possible before the nation loses upcoming leaders,” Ndozi remarked.

The mayor Matengu yesterday said the town council “is aware of the crisis and is in the process of developing a new dumpsite far from residents”. “We have already identified a new site but the problem we have now is lack of funds to develop it. The project will cost us millions. We need experts to do the work. We hope it will be realized during this financial year,” promised Matengu.

He also said the current dumpsite is not fenced off, hence people often scavenge for stale and rotten food and other discarded items.

Source : New Era