Residents of the fast growing town of Rundu want the council to seriously look at the issue of garbage lying uncollected in the centre of town.
Heaps of domestic refuse are also piling up in residential areas where it gets blown by the wind into the streets, to the extent that the place has become an eyesore.
Residents want the town council to improve the rate at which waste contractors collect refuse in and around town and also for the council to give the job to contractors who have the resources to execute the job on time and effectively.
“They should make sure that the contractors are doing their job by collecting waste on time, which is weekly. You know it is the rainy season and this waste gets rotten and smells bad because of [stagnant] water,” lamented one of the residents.
“In Safari [suburb] they haven’t collected the refuse for three weeks now and where should we take this waste?” asked one angry resident, who identified himself only as Haingura.
Some corners of the town look like dumpsites as the garbage is dumped there by residents who get tired of waiting for refuse collectors, who are in the habit of collecting the garbage very late.
Some residents also blame the spike in littering on the ever-increasing number of street vendors.
Mayor of Rundu Verna Sinimbo said they will have to engage the contractors on the current situation.
“The contractors need to know that contracts are being awarded to them with the aim of keeping the town clean, and if they are unable to do the job we have the right to terminate the contract if the contractor is not adhering to what we expect from them,” she said. “We want to see a clean town.”
Regarding street vendors, the mayor said the new council is going to see what regulations are in place and will also have meetings with shop-owners where the street vendors operate from to tell them to ensure that street vendors are prevented from selling their goods in front of shops.
“They must ensure that no one operates in front of their shops. We’re planning to put these vendors at one place that we have identified, because they need to make a living and that we understand. Council plans to build another open market for them, as we have already identified a place,” Sinimbo said.
Head of community services at Rundu Town Council Fransiska Thikerete previously said: “We can’t allow such a situation. We have contractors who agreed to do the work, but yet the town is dirty. The council could terminate contracts of those contractors who fail in their duty.”
She said that the town council – in July 2015 – took a decision to buy two compactor trucks to collect refuse themselves in times of crisis.
The question residents are now asking is whether the town will see a marked improvement in the situation now that there is a newly elected council, or whether things will remain the same.