Residents around Msilo Waste Management Facility are agitating to close it due to Mzuzu City Council’s failure to handle mounting garbage sustainably.
On January 2, community leaders wrote the council that the facility increases the risk of sanitation-related diseases in their midst. Last year, the locality outside Mzuzu City suffered a fatal outbreak of typhoid fever.
In the petition, village heads Makhuwira Msiska, Mzaza, Kazangali, Bokosi, Phaniso, Vwenya, Mputa, Mateyo and Chachacha threatened to close the waste management facility for good as the council “has openly failed to mitigate all the conditions we agreed”.
“We don’t want to die from typhoid and diarrhoea again. We want our children to learn healthier as other children in the city enjoy the right to education,” they wrote.
They said numerous wild dogs scavenging at Msilo restrict their right of movement, especially pupils at Msilo Primary School.
The council’s spokesperson McDonald Gondwe said they will engage the community for a collective resolution.
But yesterday, he said the discussions yielded nothing as the locals expelled council officials from the talks, baying to close the facility.
Last October, Local Government and ural Development Minister Ben Phiri said the K220 million facility which poses a public health risk to surrounding communities as it had become a dumpsite.
The minister reprimanded the council for resorting to burning waste, which is illegal and a health hazard , instead of reducing, reusing and recycling it.
“This facility is not well managed,” he said.
The facility was commissioned by First Lady Gertrude Mutharika in May 2017 to end unsafe dumping of waste in the Mchengautuwa Township.
It was part of European Union (EU)-funded Peri-Urban Sanitation and Hygiene (Push) project envisaged to ensure environmental sustainability.