The Monitor :: Palapye’s Dumping Site Creates Landfill Headache
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Thursday 15 November 2018, 12:08 pm.
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Palapye’s Dumping Site Creates Landfill Headache

PALAPYE: The rapidly developing Palapye is in dire need of a fully-fledged landfill and the authorities’ response to addressing the matter has left the area with a hitch.
By Koketso Kgoboge Mon 16 Apr 2018, 13:29 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Palapye’s Dumping Site Creates Landfill Headache








Palapye needs a landfill as a matter of urgency after the sprawling village overwhelmed its dumping site commonly known as Mmalenakana.

The dumping site was recently partially closed. Only small-scale waste was allowed into the dumping site. The Palapye Administrative Authority has outsourced three companies to transport large scales of waste to Serowe landfill.

Mmalenakana has not only run out of space, but also developments are catching up with the site. The industrial area is growing towards the dumping site and the proximity has become a headache for the authorities.

The Palapye sub-council chairperson, Lesedi Phuthego said they are looking at the prospects of closing down Mmalenakana for good. He said because of its proximity, the dumping site has become hazardous.

“In the meantime, we are looking for an area where we can develop a temporary dumping site while we are still anticipating a landfill,” he said.

The issue of developing a landfill has been a headache for the local authorities since the village developments mushroomed in recent years.

The issue was first tabled last year at the Palapye sub-council meeting by Phuthego. At the time he said the village had overgrown for the dumping site and was in desperate need of a landfill. Some councillors who also found the development long overdue backed him. The sub-council subsequently made an appeal to the public and private investors.

During a sub-council sitting earlier this year, Phuthego announced a positive response from a Chinese developer.

“So far one prospective developer has shown interest and is still consulting with his counterparts in China for possible modalities of cooperation,” he said when addressing the sub -ouncil.

It seems a location for this development will become a problem. Phuthego said the physical planners have mentioned in one of the meetings that they have identified an opening somewhere around the Lemone settlements. Nonetheless, he said nothing has been finalised in that regard and the issue is yet to be tabled before the sub-council.

“The location issue is still under assessment with the physical planners. We have heard that a certain piece of land is earmarked somewhere around Lemone.” “The matter is yet to reach the sub-council for discussion and until then no decision on the location has been made,” he said. The landfill rumours have reached the confines of Lemone community and the nearby settlements and none are happy about the possible development. They have started mobilising against the idea.

Earlier this week, they converged in Lemone in what was their second meeting since the rumours broke out.

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The villagers have vowed they will fight tooth and nail against the development.

They are afraid the landfill will pollute their environment and contaminate their natural water spring, Lemone, which the settlement is named after.

They said Lemone is a historical site and is the source of life for the community and their animals. During the meeting Kgosi Phokoje Phokoje of Serowe, who oversees the area, advised the community to remain resolute against the landfill.

He said they were once told developments of Palapye will spread into their area, but they did not imagine the development would come in the form of waste.

He said a landfill would contribute to ailments that would threaten the lives of the community, pollution of waterways, air and the farming land.

“We heard about this landfill and I call to all of you to be prepared and stand against this landfill,” he said when addressing the gathering.

“Where are we going to farm when our water is contaminated and not safe for drinking, when the smoke and stench has polluted our air?” he quizzed. “We cannot agree to this development.”

The chairperson of Lemone Farmers Association, Godisamang Selapa said there is no space for the landfill in the area and he said they would not even agree to be moved from the fertile grounds.

He said they have seen farmers being bought out of their farming areas for developments and left in the lurch without land to continue their farming.

“Farmers who ploughed the BIUST lands are stranded. They have finished the money and they are told the country has no land.

We have learnt from them and we will not even agree to be bought out of our land. We have been doing our farming here and we have our natural water spring that we should protect by all means.”

“It is our life and the life of our grandchildren. We can’t allow waste from Palapye to be dumped on us to destroy our area.

We have ploughed this land and there is no space for a landfill here,” Selapa said. Mareko Moremi, a farmer in the area, said they have made inquiries from relevant authorities on the matter, but they have not been given a satisfactory response.

“We should have the specifics of this landfill. We have enquired but it seems we cannot get anything from the authorities as of now, but that will not stop us from preparing for any eventuality. We know where there is smoke there is fire,” Moremi said.

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