- Published on Monday, 09 July 2012 00:00
- Written by MARC NKWAME
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RECENTLY, during the worlds environment day, two Northern Zone towns of Moshi (Kilimanjaro) and Arusha (Arusha) were declared the cleanest urban centres in Tanzania.
The green certificates awarded to the two towns are currently being hung at their respective Mayors offices for anybody who would care to look at them.Back to reality, however, the clean awards have been dismissed by many as being more political than practical.
Arusha and Moshi may be slightly cleaner than places like Dar-Es-Salaam but at the end of the day both municipalities leave a lot to be desired when it comes to sanitation.Moshi is however the lesser of two evils; mainly because the authorities there are currently extorting huge sums of money from any person who in one way or another, is accused of Ômaking the place dirty,Õ where a fine of 50,000/- is imposed to them.
The Moshi penalties have been skeptically explained to be more business arrangement, than effort to keep the town clean, still it helps to instil some fear to people who would otherwise turn the streets into pigs den.Arusha is, on the other hand, less fortunate, with a higher population than Moshi, more functioning industries and non-stop business activities, compared to its nearly dormant Kilimanjaro counterpart; the town seems to be yielding garbage at an alarming rate.
Arusha produces a total of 410 tonnes of garbage per day, with the daily waste yielding rate being estimated to be over two kilogram per household, in addition to the refuse pooled in from factories, hotels and other business outlets in town. At the moment the council is only capable of collecting and disposing 60 per cent of the local waste load, which means only around 245 tonnes of garbage get to be collected in town within a day, leaving some more mounds of garbage weighing over 165 tonnes lying around the vicinities.
And that is why Arusha seems to fare worse when it comes to town cleanliness, compared to its fellow Northern urban centres such as the Moshi Municipality and Tanga City.Municipal officials here are suspecting that, in addition to locally produced trash, Arusha is possibly also handling mass content of alien garbage, being 'imported' all the way from Moshi town, only to be scientifically 'dumped' here.
It is being estimated that Arusha City gets nearly 200,000 visitors per day in addition to its base population of 500,000 human residents and respectable number of freely roaming livestock.The aliens reportedly hail from the neighbouring regions of Kilimanjaro and Manyara, others from nearby Districts of Meru, Longido, Monduli and Karatu, plus those who come from the neighbouring country of Kenya, in additional to foreign visitors coming as tourists or conference delegates.
Most of the 'immigrants' who parade Arusha streets by day normally exit the town at dusk and according to local authorities here, the strangers would also leave their garbage loads behind.Moshi on the other hand, is said to produce less than 100 tonnes of garbage in a day and since many of Kilimanjaro residents prefer to conduct their daily activities in Arusha, experts here say much of the waste that would have otherwise ended onto Moshi streets get ÔexportedÕ to Arusha via the daily regional immigrants.
Arusha is handling all the Moshi's daylight activities in terms of business transactions, trade and people movement, with extra load of garbage coming from the fact that being both a diplomatic and tourist capital, Arusha is TanzaniaÕs docking port for aliens from overseas.To address the garbage problem, the city authorities are planning to construct a modern garbage dump in Muriet area, with funds from the World Bank and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) at the cost of 3 billion/-.
The project was expected to commence since April last year but more than 200 families living around the proposed site raised objections, with their leader Mr Jackson Japhet demanding hefty compensations for them.The Council had already paid off 33 out of 42 individuals but the other 200 others recently showed up to also demand their dues.
Acting Municipal Director, Mr Estomih Changah has rubbished the residents claims saying they invaded the site purposely when they heard about the planned project.The Director has warned that the donors were losing patience and may call off the project if the tug-of-war between authorities and the residents wont stop.
He explained that during the feasibility study last year they realized that there were only 42 residents in the area where the garbage dump would be constructed. After evaluating the properties the council agreed to pay owners a total of 252 million/- as compensation.We were thorough in our valuation as we took 42 photos of the owners in front of their properties but now I am surprised to hear that more than 200 people have come out claiming compensation, said Mr Changah adding that the other 200 materialized after the initial compensations.
The council now intends to revisit the area and make another assessment of the properties to find out who deserved to be compensated, according to the acting municipal director.