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EMA held a media tour of the city’s suburbs on Monday which the authority’s Provincial Environmental Manager, Decent Ndlovu said was meant to warn residents about the consequences of littering.
Ndlovu said anyone found dumping waste was liable to a fine or imprisonment.
“The laws of EMA are that no one should be found dumping, discarding or leaving litter on any land or water surface, street, road or site in or at any place except in a container provided or set apart for such purposes,” said Ndlovu.
“The mushrooming of illegal dumps and rampant sand poaching are some of the challenges affecting the local authority. To address these challenges, the agency has continued to enforce the law through prosecution of offenders and issuing orders to clear illegal dumps.”
He said Makokoba and Entumbane were ranked as the dirtiest suburbs, while Cowdray Park, Hyde Park, Pumula, Robert Sinyoka were seriously affected by land degradation.
Last year, EMA singled out Entumbane as the dirtiest suburb, but Makokoba has since joined that rank.
Ndlovu said there were improvements in Sizinda and Nkulumane suburbs that were previously very dirty.
The EMA official said land degradation was threatening infrastructure such as roads and electricity pylons. In some areas, Ndlovu added, deep pits have been opened and left uncovered posing serious danger to communities.
“Anyone who intends to engage in sand transportation should have a sand transportation licence and should obtain the sand from licensed sites. The licences are issued to local authorities as well as individuals who are able to produce a detailed excavation and environmental rehabilitation plan for the site to prevent land degradation,” added the EMA provincial manager.
“We would like to announce to the public that we are engaging the police and local authorities to arrest anyone found guilty of any of these offences. There is no negotiation for these offences when found guilty.”
He said some local authorities’ failure to collect refuse was leading to the mushrooming of illegal dumping sites in some residential areas.
“We urge even those driving to provide a bin in their vehicles to prevent people from throwing litter everywhere.”by Whinsley Masara. Source: chronicle