Over 100 Bindura residents scramble daily for fertilizer waste dumped behind Bindura Sports Club by manufacturing company Fertilizer Seed Grain (FSG), which they collect for resale.
BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
When NewsDay visited the site last week, people — newcomers and regulars — were eagerly waiting for the FSG truck at the dumpsite.
A few were wearing masks and the fight for the fertilizer does not allow them to observe social distancing, otherwise this would mean going back home empty-handed.
“People come from Pfugari, Chiwaridzo, Chipindura and Mupandenyama, while others come from as far as Kingston. Some sacrifice to sleep here because they want better yields. There are many people from the apostolic sect here because they have a colleague who works at FSG and always gives them a tip-off,” Tererai Chiswiti said.
A Midlands State University student (name withheld) told NewsDay that she used the fertilizer for gardening.
“I have been coming here since last month and I use this fertilizer for my gardening project near Chiwaridzo Secondary School. My vegetables grow well and it’s generating money enough that I don’t bother my parents much asking for money. If I am not mistaken, the company started dumping the fertilizer in August 2017,” the student said.
“There is also corruption here. Earlier before your arrival, there was a load that we were told it was for FSG staff. The truck did not even reach this side. I later discovered that three men had paid the driver to offload for them only. I was shocked to see my neighbour among the staff, yet he does not even work for the company. Most people go and sell the fertilizer at US$20 per 50kg.”
Compound D SuperFert goes for $840, while AN is pegged at $1 140.
An old man, Leonard Mavhaya, said it was his first time to collect the fertilizer from the dumpsite.
“Initially, I didn’t take this seriously, but I have made a decision to come today. I just need a small amount,” he said.
FSG Bindura manager Naas Maritz told NewsDay that nearly 100 tonnes had been dumped at the site and the company was not liable for any damage likely to happen.
“That’s waste fertilizer and we take no responsibility of what will happen. We are actually throwing it away because we don’t use it. Some people slept there at night waiting for the fertilizer, but it’s finished now. I have put about 100 tonnes in the past three weeks. Bring one load a day, they will fight,” Maritz said.
“I chased some people who had come with a tractor intimidating old women and denying them the opportunity to get the waste. Another day, someone came with a truck and tried to bribe to fill his vehicle. I said no, everybody should get. It’s for everybody.”
Bindura town clerk Shangwa Mavesera said the municipality would investigate the matter.
“Thanks very much, I will take my guys there on Tuesday for investigations. I can get more information on the matter before I comment,” he said.