Okalongo-Residents of Okalongo settlement say there is a need to revamp the local dumping site, as it currently poses a health risk to communities, who are dependent on water near the dumpsite. The dumpsite in located in a flood prone area just a few metres from a water stream.
Speaking at a community meeting on Tuesday, a resident aired the concern that the water in the nearby stream could be hazardous, as water flowing through the dumpsite during the rainy season could leak into the nearby stream. The stream is said to furry water further to other areas, where people who have no access to potable water can access the toxic water.
“All sort of rubbish from the town is dumped at that area and water purification treatment is no longer being distributed, so we really need to see how we can ensure that our people are safe,” said a resident.
Apart from the dumpsite, the community also raised concern about overflowing drainages at the settlement. It is alleged that the self-constructed drainages are not fully functional and often overflow into the residential area.
“It has been over two years now that the settlement is often filled with sewerage water. It is very unhealthy, especially for the children, who play in such filth every day,” said one concerned resident.
However, the administrative control officer of the settlement, Amandus Kandowa, had no favourable response for the residents, apart from saying that those are self-constructed drainages. While the settlement struggles to be upgraded to a village council, the residents appealed to the settlement office to put up a sewerage system, as it is a prerequisite for gaining village status.