There are Mozambicans involved in DR Congo and Tanzania "destabilisation" - Bernardino Rafael
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The area around the Hulene dump now looks very different to what it was before the tragedy that was responsible for the death of 17 people. Before, there were cluttered houses, people and trash, and people and cars crammed in a narrow street next to a garbage heap said to be as high as a three-story building.
This, and the existence of people of dubious character mixed in with those who actually recycle garbage for a living, made the area a hotbed of assaults and other crimes.
“I cannot say that the problem is solved, but recently we have not had as many problems as before,” says David Nassone, chief of the 119 block.
In fact, the demolition of the houses around the dump has improved visibility, and the new street is no longer near the trash, where a person of dubious intent could easily conceal themselves, thus giving the area an aura of safety.
These are benefits that naturally please the residents, who, however, have not solved one other problem that plagued them. In order to manage rainwater flowing from the garbage heaps, the Municipal council has dug a drainage ditch whose waters now stand stagnant, a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the diseases which have always plagued residents of the neighborhood.
“There are diseases here, there is malaria and cholera like you can’t imagine,” the neighbourhood chief complains.
Although the ditch is not deep, residents in the vicinity do not rule out the possibility of children drowning, especially in the rainy season, as it is a favourite playground for children despite its unpleasant smell and appearance. This and other concerns lead residents to question why some promises made during the tragedy and relocation of the local families are not being fulfilled.
“What I heard from the councilwoman when they were doing the demolitions was that they were going to build a wall around the dump, but so far nothing has been done. This worries the locals,” Nassone says.
Meanwhile, the struggle for survival continues. The demolitions have forced garbage collectors to rent houses nearby, where they have resumed their activities, now with more room to sort and sell their product. And, by all accounts, this activity shows no sign of coming to an end any time soon. Garbage continues to be dumped in Hulene, leaving residents at their wits’ end.
“They promised that in three months, that is, ninety days, the dump would be closed, but so far this has not happened yet. We hoped the dump was going altogether, but that is not happening,” Nassone told us.
In fact, such was the hope not only of those who lived around the dump but of all the residents of the Hulene neighborhood. After all, for fifty years they have been living with the consequences: the bad smell, rats, flies, toxic fumes from the constant burning of rubbish, among other evils. There are reports of villagers having to use mosquito nets to eat meals without flies rendering it impossible.
The dream of closing the garbage dump is at least fifteen years old, but the money has always been lacking – the estimated cost is over EUR 89 million.
Indeed, the dump’s reluctant neighbours know that in addition to money problems there are difficulties still not resolved in resettling the families occupying part of the land reserved for the new Matlemele landfill designed to receive solid waste from Maputo and Matola.
“The same flexibility they had in taking the people who lived here should be exercised there,” Nassone says.Source: O País