Blantyre City's garbage collection nightmare

Garbage disposal site in Chilomoni-Photo by Pemphero Mpinganjira

Blantyre residents have expressed worry over the city council’s failure to meet their garbage collection schedules.

The concerns are amid fears that this could have bad outcomes for the health of the residents as it encourages diseases caused by poor sanitation.

A Chilomoni Fargo resident, a Mrs. Maida lamented said that the council should consider providing large trash cans so that after they have been filled they can collect for disposal by the city council garbage collection team.

“We have been requesting that they should consider providing us with large trash cans so that everyone can be disposing in those and later collected by the city council’s garbage collectors for proper disposal so that it should ease their work,” she said.

Maida added that the problem that follows when the city council's garbage collectors fail to collect garbage on time is that they do not have proper places to dispose of the garbage.

“The garbage collection day in this area is Wednesday, if they have failed to collect garbage on this day they come again Thursday, but when they have not shown up we hire people to collect and dispose of for us as piece work and these people do not dispose of the garbage properly,” she said.

Agreeing with Maida, another resident in Nkolokosa, Salif Gofali worried that the officials do not have an interest in monitoring if the work is being done or not.

“I know that there are a lot of garbage collectors that the Blantyre City Council has but it seems as if the officials do not take time to monitor if the garbage collection is being done properly to ensure proper sanitation, maybe if they can be monitoring it can bring about change,” he said.

In an interview with the Blantyre City Council’s Public Relations Officer, Deborah Luka confirmed that the concerns are genuine and that they are making efforts to ensure that garbage collection is done accordingly.

“The concerns are indeed genuine and we are making efforts to ensure that we collect garbage accordingly, we have found other alternatives to hire more collector’s vehicles.

Our main challenge is that most of our refuse collector vehicles are not in good condition so they are mostly at the garage but we have already made efforts to replace them and hopefully we will have new refuse collector vehicles soon.” She said.

Luka added that BCC is engaging private garbage collectors so that they should help in the garbage collection routine.

“As I have already stated that we are engaging private garbage collectors starting this week until we have our new refuse collector vehicles” she added.  

Residents in areas of Chilomoni and Nkolokosa are among the many that are expressing their worry over the issue.