THE NEGLECTED ILLEGAL DUMPING SITE IN EHLANZENI SECTION
Environmental issues or problems will rapidly dominate the neighbourhood if no rigid alleviation and affirmative action is taken against them.
In Ehlanzeni Section, Tembisa, illegal dumping has been an ongoing practice by the locals for the past few years. The goats are exposed to the notorious dumping site, using it as an easy food source from the morning until the afternoon. It is important to highlight and emphasize that the goats feed on plastics, papers, rotten food and even used diapers, which is very bad for any living organism.
The livestock’s health is put at risk due to diseases that are transmitted through the consumption of food from the dump site. As shown in the photograph, there’s a manhole cover blast along the edges of the dump site, the goats imbibe the sewage run off using it as a readily available water source. The goats even die from the ingestion of pathogens and toxic substances. With the goats dying, there’s a rapid great loss of income to owners. “Last year two of my goats died, only to find out that they imbibed the sewage run off and ate rubbish at the dump site.”, a goat owner said.
The dumping site not only negatively impact the goats, but also the environment through land and soil pollution. This eventually leads to environmental degradation. Children are fond of playing in or around dumping sites, exposing themselves to diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea. “It is dangerous for our children to play in the dump site, what if they too eat rubbish and get sick?”, a local community member said. Meat is a delicacy enjoyed by a lot of South Africans and those goats are most probably reared to be eaten. People get sick from the consumption of such goat meat, threatening their health.
The locals are in the process of finding ways to mitigate environmental damage caused by illegal dumping. The suggested measures include the introduction of a fine to be paid by any person found dumping household garbage in the area. The community is spear heading the system by reporting illegal dumping cases to the local Municipality. Once the legal system is implemented, any person found guilty is liable to pay a certain amount of money to the Municipality. The money then aims to offer more improved services to the people such as refuse removal, water service, electricity and sewerage reticulation.
The environmental issues highlighted consequently hamper the progress made so far in working towards attaining Sustainable Development Goals (2030). Therefore, immediate action needs to be taken to ensure a clean and safe environment for all.