The Francistown City Council has been cracking the whip in an effort to control illegal dumping of waste in the second city.
According to Principal Environmental Health Officer II, Ibeni Mahuma, illegal dumping is a major problem in the city which is draining the department’s meagre resources.
Responding to a questionnaire, Mahuma said the Council has taken to positioning guards at several areas around Francistown that are prone to the illegal dumping of construction rubble and other waste.
“Those caught resorting to such behavior instead of using the free services provided at the landfill are fined P1000 for their actions,” she said.
Mahuma said their ultimate goal is to have a clean city and to have people taking better responsibility for their waste.
She further said to have an aesthetically pleasing environment that has social, economic and other benefits can only be achieved through a collective effort.
“The department has started and continues to educate and warn people to better dispose waste. This is also done in collaboration with ward development committees for weekly clearing, litter picking and garden waste,” she said.
The FCC Environmental Health Officer further revealed that in total so far, about103 people have been charged for illegal dumping of waste with a cumulative charge of P86 800, while 29 people were charged for burning waste, with their total charges adding to P24 000.
The revelations come in the wake of the National Clean-up Campaign from the 30th August to 3rd September.
According to Mahuma, the aim of the campaign is to create awareness on proper waste management and strategies in place to keep the environment clean.
“The campaign forms part of our ongoing efforts as FCC to keep the city clean and we plan to continue encouraging stakeholder participation through other activities’ in the medium to long term,” she said.
Mahuma commended Francistown residents, Unitrans Africa and Miss Botswana Francistown for supporting the initiative.
“We also have many helpful individuals who report illegal dumpers,” she said.