There seems to be no plans in place to rehabilitate the Gumare landfill which remains an eye sore and environmental menace. It seems the situation at the site will remain the same for some time since there are reportedly no funds for the 2022/2023 financial year to put right the situation.
The state of the landfill has become so bad that livestock in the area use it as their grazing area, as the place is not fenced, with no order as to dumping procedures. The landfill also does not have any personnel who manage its day to day operations.
Gumare-Tubu North councilor Mpoke Karapo has told this publication that they had pinned their hopes on a sanitary land fill project proposed for the National Development Plan 12 (NDP12), but their hopes have since been dashed following government’s decision to defer the project NDP12 to 2025.
He revealed that currently there is no permanent plan to address the situation lamenting that the deferment of NDP12 has negatively affected plans to address the situation.
To a larger extent, Karapo indicated that the plan was to address similar problems across the district.
He indicated that in an attempt to improve status of the dumping site, the erection of a palisade fence and construction of a guard house was proposed in the 2022/2023 budget but due to budgetary constraints that was not successful.
The landfill, according to Karapo has become an eyesore as it located next to the A35 road passing through Gumare to Shakawe, and the waste that is dumped indiscriminately is scattered on both sides of the road.
Karapo believes the situation can only be addressed permanently once the Okavango transforms to a fully-fledged council, a process he believes will take time.
“I will once again raise the issue during the next full council meeting for us to find a better solution for the situation, I am however skeptical of getting any solution from council since I have been raising this issue every full council sitting,” Karapo said.
When giving update during the previous North West District full Council an official from the Environmental Health Department indicated that proposal for a sanitary landfill in the Okavango Sub District has been made in the National Development Plan 12 (NDP12). The department anticipated that the availability of a sanitary landfill will address issues of waste disposal in the Sub-District.