Mhandamabwe residents move to reclaim problematic gully

Ruvarashe Gwindingwe

Concerned Mhandamabwe Growth Point residents are planting banana groves, herbs and shrubs along a problematic gully which threatens their houses and the environment, EnviroPress can report.

The meandering gully, which developed as a result of illegal pit-sand extraction by some homebuilders, has now grown into a stinky rubbish dump.

The gully also threatens some residential stands as it has widened to within few inches of perimeter fences.

With the Chivi Rural District Council (RDC) either unable or unwilling to take corrective measures, all waste materials including used diapers are getting dumped there.

Enita Saviel*, a local resident, said she was doing all she could, including planting trees, to help reclaim the gully and stop its further erosion.

“The gully is now growing bigger due to neglect as well as the eroding effects of water runoff and we now have some irresponsible residents making a dumpsite of the donga. We need residents to come together and stop dumping refuse in there, and we also need council to do its job because we pay rates,” said Saviel.

Jane Tombindo, another Mhandamabwe resident whose homestead is one of the most affected, has begun planting shrubs on the edges of the gully to minimize its further erosion.

“This is not pleasing at all. Besides the place being stinky due to the garbage being dumped in there, the gully also threatens to swallow up my yard. This can actually happen if no action is taken in the short term. That is why I have decided to plant some shrubs on the edges,” she said.

Chivi RDC Ward 6 Councillor Godfrey Mukungunugwa said he was going to ensure that the council department responsible for housing is made to take corrective measures.

“I will look in this matter to see that people in the department are activated. They must do their work properly. We must stop sand poachers, and we must make sure that no illegal garbage dumping,” said Mukungunugwa, who is also the council chairperson.

He urged people to rather burn the refuse that they generate at home, than engage in illegal garbage dumping.

“In line with Vision 2030, we are working to make Mhandamabwe a big business centre with vast residential and industrial areas. We acknowledge that such development can only be attained if we properly manage and conserve our environment,” Mukungunugwa said.

This report was made possible through support from WAN-IFRA Media Freedom’s Strengthening African Media Programme: Climate Change and Environmental Reporting. Views expressed here do not belong to WAN-IFRA