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What’s that foul smell?

COUNCILLOR: Kobamelo Baikgodise

Xhabara residents confronts BMC about rotten stench

Complaints about abhorrent stench emanating from Botswana Meat commission (BMC) abattoir in Maun continue to go unattended with fed up Xhabara ward residents crying foul.

Already the residents have filed a formal complaint at the District Commissioner’s office seeking BMC to do something about the strong smell.

“Some days are worse than others, we cannot keep our windows or doors open and we have to stay indoors and in summer it is very unbearable because it really gets hot in this part of the country,” explained 32- year- old Gosego Senwedi, a resident at Xhabara.

Adding to Senwedi’s complaint is area councillor, Vepaune Moreti who said staying near BMC has become unbearable over the years.

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“The air is just foul and we have been complaining about this for a very long time with nothing done to really act on this and it is frustrating,” lamented Moreti.

Moreti who is also the council chairperson for Maun sub district council; Maun Administration Authority (MAA) says the stench emanates from dirty water tanks from the abattoir.

“The stench has been there for the longest time since the BMC existence in Maun.Those years back before the abattoir was closed (around 2007) it was there and people were complaining even then. Before the reopening we asked them to connect the ponds to the sewage line because hoping to dry the water in open tanks was not working, but the facility re-opened anyway before the completion of the project and the funds allegedly ran out before it could be completed,” explained Moreti.

Meanwhile the abattoir continues to keep the dirty water, which has been used to wash waste from slaughtered cattle in open tanks, polluting air with unpleasant smell.

“The area reeks of rotten meat and sometimes that bad smell reaches the industrial site. It is really awful,” added councillor Kobamelo Baikgodise of Matlapana ward.

Baikgodise had actually posed a question in the just ended sub council meeting to BMC demanding to know what the abattoir management had planned to do about the stench.

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In response, Maun BMC manager, Oabona Ramotshwana said they were still trying to connect their tanks to the sewage but in the meantime they were treating the water with biological enzymes to reduce the smell.

“What causes the smell is the blood, fats and other waste because we use the water to wash the meat,”Ramotshwana explained

He added that they have bought a vacuum tanker to suck the water into Water Utilities Corporation sewage tanks so it does not stand for a long time in open tanks at the facility.

He further added that they were also thinking of sealing their tanks in such a way that the smell would not escape and pollute the air with bad odour.

“We do apologise to the residents for subjecting them to the bad smell. We kindly request them to bear with us as we work towards connecting our tanks to the waste water sewage pipes.” Ramotshwana noted.

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