Waiting for rainwater to clear garbage

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In cities and towns across Malawi, residents dump waste in undesignated places such as roadsides and streams in the hope that the trash will be cleared by rainwater.

These undesignated dumping sites in residential areas in cities, have now been the hub of producing strong odour that pollutes air.

Some residents have opted for streams around the cities as dumping sites of waste produced from homes.

For instance, residents in Machinjiri Area 12 in the commercial city of Blantyre, opt for a stream that is around as a dumping site, with the hope that when rainwater comes, the garbage will be cleared.

Used baby pampers, domestic refuse, dead animals like dogs and cats are dumped in the stream.

Edgar Nyirenda, a resident in Machinjiri, blames the authority who in this case is Blantyre City Council (BCC) for not directing designated places of dumping wastes.

“I do hire boys around who come to collect garbage from my house and I am sure they dump that waste in these undesignated places around,” said Nyirenda.

He explained that if BCC had directed the residents to a specific place that could be used as dumping site where they could be coming to collect the garbage, the problem would have been resolved.

The problem is similar around Chirimba Market in Blantyre, where people use the stream as dumping site of waste produced by traders.

Water from this stream is now polluted and awaits rainy season for the stream to be purified from garbage that is disposed in it.

Though residents blame the authority for the problem of dumping wastes in undesignated places, BCC faults the residents for dumping the waste in places, where the city council will be coming to collect the rubbish.

BCC spokesperson Anthony Kasunda said dumping of waste in places that are not designated is “illegal” and attracts a fine.

“Actually it is against the law to dump wastes in undesignated places and when found, one can pay a fine, that is determined by the courts,” said Kasunda.

Kasunda added that residents from such places need to identify a place that can be used as a site for dumping refuse.

He said the city council is willing to ensure a clean city through joint efforts with residents by identifying places in residential areas where the council would be coming to collect garbage.

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