President Ian Khama on Friday raked Gaborone City Council officers over hot coals for failing to collect litter. Addressing a full council meeting last week, Khama expressed concern at the filthy state of Gaborone and urged the council to marshal their resources to ensure that the city is kept clean.
“I am concerned by the filthy state of our capital city. Remember that Gaborone houses government and provides a mirror through which the international community and tourists judge our country” he said.
Khama urged GCC to network with other councils and the private sector to ensure that Gaborone is kept aesthetically and environmentally appealing to visitors and potential investors.
When opening the full council meeting last week, Gaborone Mayoress Veronica Lesole said GCC is awaiting the delivery of four refuse compactor trucks from a client. For a long time, Gaborone residents have been complaining about the council’s failure to collect garbage, which has resulted in garbage bags piling in their gates, attracting flies and causing an unbearable stench.
The council used to collect garbage every two weeks, but the situation has deteriorated to the extent that two months can pass without any garbage collection. Desperate residents ended up loading loaded garbage bags into their trucks and dumping them anywhere in the bush, thus creating an environmental hazard.
As the situation worsened, government released a statement cautioning the public against dumping garbage along the road.
But Gaborone is not only struggling with litter collection, as pit latrines and septic tanks in most of the SHHA areas are over spilling because the council does not have vacuum tanks.
Lesole said the continuous breakdown of vacuum tanks, coupled with non availability of funds to purchase new ones, has worsened the situation so much so that over 1000 households are experiencing waste over spilling.
“The situation at the households is so serious that sewage is over spilling in most SHHA areas. We have requested the department of transport to expedite repairs of the vacuum tankers” said Lesole.
A local waste management company recently sued GCC for failing to pay for garbage collection services. The company’s contract was not renewed after expiring in December last year.