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Stinky landfill has residents fearing for their health

Health hazard: SEDC landfill PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The South East District Council (SEDC) is facing an enormous task of fighting environmental impact emanating from breakdown of compact machine at their landfill site.

The breakdown has lead to a stinky environment characterised by waste blown by air all over, green flies and a strong smell feared to be capable of harming humans, the environment and even livestock of those staying nearby and motorists using the A1 to Lobatse. SEDC landfill is between Boatle and Otse village.

The smell and smoke coming from the waste is affecting residents of Matlapekwe and Mamaeneng lands. 

It is said the machine broke down in October, and ever since then, people just dump various waste materials without it being compact to avoid it being blown away. According to Matlapekwe resident, Ntshekelang Gabokgonwe, the smell of the landfill has been unbearable since last October.

“The smell is even going through our mud huts therefore there is no difference if you are inside it or outside. It gets even worse when the smoke is there. We have appealed to council to act on the issue. They had promised us that they will do something.”

Gabokgonwe said that although now the situation is not bad as last year December and November, “We want the issue to be solved quickly because we are suffering. We do not have other areas to relocate to”.

He said he is afraid that the smell could affect their animals too.

Onkutule Seapewang of Mamaeneng said they struggle to eat because of green flies and the stench.

“Something needs to be done so that we

don’t inhale this smell. The council is not telling us the exact time or month when there would be able to fix their compact machine. The council chairperson and council secretary were here to assess the situation,” Seapewang said.

SEDC chairperson, Phenyo Segokgo has confirmed that the compact machine is having technical problems.

“I am aware of the situation and we have even gone to the site even to residents of the affected lands to explain our situation. The situation is not as bad as last year October, November and December.

We accept the blame but we are acting on it. I understand the machine keeps on working and breaking down due to technical problems. Of course it is not working like before because it is old. It was bought five years ago and again our landfill is one of the busiest,” Segokgo said.

He said the Council has engaged one of the companies to try to fix the machine.

The chairperson said the machine cost around P5 million and he would try to convince councillors that there is need to include a new one in their financial budget.

 “I am concerned that the situation could become bad if we keep on relying on the machine which keeps breaking down going forward, especially if it could rain heavily. The council is monitoring the situation and we would keep on engaging the affected people,” he said.




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