Kanaan C informal settlement residents bemoan unsanitary conditions

Residents of Kanaan C informal settlement in Gobabis live in deteriorating inhumane conditions with numerous heaps of filth building up among homes.

This are the sentiments of the inhabitants of Kanaan C informal settlement who said that the heap which is situated between four home increases in size every year.

In an interview with Nampa, one of the resident at the settlement Nicolas Gariseb whose shack is situated right next to the pile of waste said that he has reached out to the town's municipality countless times but nothing has been done.

The condition in which we live is a threat to our health, this pile of waste that you are seeing here has been building up for years and I have been living here for five years Gariseb said.

Gariseb said whenever he went to the municipality to complain about that waste, municipality employees would come and look at the pile and allegedly say they would come remove it but then they go and never come back.

When Nampa visited the site, Josephine Sietsisho whose shack is right infront of the heap, was sharing a meal with her husband and their children about five feet from the heap of waste.

Sietsisho has lived here for 3 years with her husband and 8 children age 3- 9.

Josephine explained that her children are constantly ill adding that she believes the waste that is ten feet from her front door could be the contributing factor to her children's constant sickness.

At times I'll find my young ones playing on top of the garbage, which is not healthy because people throw all kinds of wastes there. This condition in which we live is exposing her and her family to sickness such Hepatitis E.

Another resident who requested to remain anonymous told Nampa that when she moved to Kanaan C about 6 years ago, she had found the heap there, noting that She too has made requests to the municipality for them to remove the pile of garbage but to no avail.

My neighbour who lives across from my house and I use to at least try to minimize the mound by burning the garbage but we have given up because there is no team work in this place, when one puts in the effort to clean another comes and adds more garbage. She explained.

She further explained that the situation has worsen over the years as some residents especially children, have started relieving themselves there.

the smell that comes from that place is unbearable and when it rains it's even worse. Children live in this surrounding and there are exposed to all those germs.

The inhabitant at the settlement lack ablution facilities and sewage services amongst other social amenities.

Approached for comment, the Gobabis municipality supervisor for solid waste and sanitation, Christi Mutota told this news agency that she is aware of the heaps of waste in the settlement as she has visited the site herself.

We have removed numerous heaps in the surrounding but not the one in question now, as it is a challenge to remove it because there is no space big enough for a front loader tractor to move freely

Mutota further said she had explained to the residents that for the waste to be removed, some of their fences must be removed to create sufficient space for the front loader to drive through and move freely as it scoops the waste.

However the residents claim that they have not been informed of such arrangements.

SOURCE: NAMIBIA PRESS AGENCY