There seems to be no hope on the horizon for Victoria Range residents in Masvingo who for the past three years have bore the brunt of living next to council’s official dumpsite.
Garbage mounds a few meters from their houses is an everyday sight for the residents, among them Mrs Esther Mamutse.
Mrs Mamutse has been living at Victoria Range since 2014 and has continued to watch helplessly as council deposits waste at the decommissioned dumpsite.
The foul smell that emanates from the garbage, the flies and the smoke from waste burning has become her daily bread and she fears soon she will fall victim to diseases associated with these hazards.
With no option for her, she goes about cooking her meal outside as if unaware of the nasty stench which fills the air.
“I started staying here in 2014 and the city council seems unconcerned about our presence here as it continues to dump garbage here. This site was decommissioned but council continues to dump its waste here, coming even closer to our doorsteps,” she said.
Masvingo Deputy Mayor, Councillor Wellington Mahwende said efforts to get a new dumpsite continue to hit a brick wall.
Last year, the local authority had instilled hope in the residents after indicating that it was getting land but that too seems to have fallen off.
With no solution in sight, Councillor Mahwende said they have since three days ago resolved to hire a compactor to manage the waste.
While grateful for the current initiative by council, residents believe the local authority and other government departments should get a more permanent solution.
It remains to be seen if talks of a new dumpsite will yield results but for now, the story does not change much for the more than 500 households in Victoria Range.