Residents of Kaxumba Kandola in the Goreangab informal settlement are at risk of being electrocuted by illegal electricity connections passing through a nearby dumpsite.
Those who spoke to New Era on Monday said children are especially at risk of being electrocuted by the exposed cables being used by residents to tap electricity.
A 28-year-old man, Frans Kavandje, expressed concern that if residents do not bury the exposed electricity cables they might be electrocuted. Also, when the electricity trips it causes sewage to burn, thereby causing an unpleasant smell, explained Kavandje.
He also fears for his life, stating that if a fire broke out because of the illegal electrical connections, it might extend to his shack, which is not far from the dumpsite. The dumpsite is not very far from where the residents live. The place is covered with sewage and trash, but there are also several electricity cables connected illegally by people living nearby.
“I have tried to convince people to cover their electrical cords but instead they insult me,” narrated Kavandje.
Residents started dumping their garbage there earlier this year after they were instructed not to dump in the riverbed, said Kavandje, who also explained that the waste normally stays for a month uncollected.
He further stressed the dangers of illegal electricity connections, emphasising that the residents should understand the danger that electricity poses to people.
Another resident, Aletha Ndivayele said municipal authorities discouraged them from dumping garbage in the riverbed, because of the Hepatitis E outbreak. Instead, they were advised to dump their trash closer to the road where the municipal truck can easily collect the garbage.
“My electrical cable has been there ever since 2010,” said a defensive Ndivayele. She further stated that she had never heard anyone complain about the electricity cables and the danger they pose.
When asked about the dangers that these cables pose to children, Ndivayele replied that they have never heard of such cases. She also added that is the only place that her electrical cable can pass through as it is close to her shack.