Illegal dumping is taking on dangerous proportions

Tumelo Waga Dibakwane
ILLEGAL dumping is taking such preposterous proportions that residents of Sand River near Hazyview are now appealing to the government to intervene.
The robust spilling of waste into rivers and streams have become so bad that people can no longer use the water to wash their clothes, dishes or to cleanse people during rituals, residents say.
People living in the area claim that the Nkambeni River is also badly contaminated due to illegal dumping. They also complained about the bad smell that emanates from the river.
Sand River is one of the areas that do not have the luxury of clean running water and many people depend on water from the streams and the rivers for their daily needs.
Promise Mathebula from Ka Majike, who regularly uses water from the Nkambeni River to irrigate her garden and also to wash clothes, said it was no longer safe to use the water. She said some of her plants died due to the contamination in the water.
“Those who are dumping trash into the rivers are also those who are not using the water and they do not reside next to the river. They do so because it does not affect them, but as for us who are depending on the rivers, we are negatively affected and now we must buy water to survive,” said Mathebula.
She said the garbage that people dump into the rivers include used pampers, sanitary towels, dead animals and many other objects.
Bongane Ndlovu, who is a traditional healer, said the river next to his house had been turned into a dumping site, which had a negative effect on his business. His clients refuse to be cleansed in the dirty, stinky river.
“I believe that those residing next to the rivers must always keep an eye to make sure that people are prevented to dump things there,” said Ndlovu.
City of Mbombela spokesperson, Joseph Ngala, said the municipality has a dumping site, but many individuals ignore that and simply dump in the rivers instead.
“Illegal dumping is not only a problem in the City of Mbombela, it is a provincial problem, and we are asking our people to refrain from doing that and rather use the legal dumping sites in their areas,” said Ngala.

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