Residents sue council over dumpsite

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BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA

TWO Chitungwiza residents have approached the High Court seeking to block the local authority from continuously dumping waste at its dumpsite until certain safeguards are in place and the site is commissioned by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).

The residents, Bianca Dudzai Chipanga and Chamunorwa Gova, cited Chitungwiza Municipality and EMA as respondents.

The application came after Chipaga and Gova’s children sustained burns at the dumpsite in August last year while some people in the area were affected by chemicals dumped at the
site.

Gova’s son, Nyashadzashe (11), later succumbed to the injuries in August.

In Chipanga’s founding affidavit, she said due to the nature of the substances dumped at the site some of which were hot, the dumpsite posed a danger to the public, particularly children.

“The first respondents operate the dumpsite. It is required to put in place safeguards which ensure that the waste dumped at the site is not hazardous either to human health and life as well as the environment. The dumpsite ought to be fenced.”

“We live in the face of constant and unmitigated danger posed by the dumpsite, the danger is more pronounced with respect to minor children as demonstrated by our painful and fatal experiences.”

She said the dumpsite was not fenced and had no markings, making it accessible to anyone regardless of age.

“The first respondent has been served with several orders from the EMA to fence the dumpsite since 2011. The purpose of fencing is to prohibit unlawful entry by members of the public into the dumpsite and to warn them of the danger it poses. The first respondent has consistently and flagrantly ignored the order to the detriment of the local community and our children.”

Chipanga submitted that the Municipality of Chitungwiza should be compelled to fence off the area with wrought iron which is secure and is not easily susceptible to theft and entrance to the dumpsite should be manned and have secure gates.

“I pray for an interdict stopping the first respondent from operating the dumpsite until it fences it and marks it with warning signs. The dumpsite should only be operated after it has been fenced and commissioned by the second respondent,” reads the founding affidavit read.

In Gova’s supporting affidavit, he said his deceased son was playing with other children at the dumpsite near Chigumba stands when he was severely burnt by hot ash dumped at the site; he sustained extensive burns on his body and was treated at Chitungwiza Central Hospital and later died as a result of the
injuries.