Eager to test whether a community based waste enforcement system will work in the Metro, the NMBM Public Health Directorate has trained and employed 18 Community Waste Rangers in various areas in the Metro. Nelson Mandela Bay residents are now warned to stop illegal dumping or they will bear the full wrath of the law by paying fines, being prosecuted and possibly jailed.
This pilot programme will not only hold people accountable for illegal dumping activities, but will also create job opportunities for the youth, improving the economic state of the City.
The Community Waste Rangers are responsible for the areas in which they reside, as they can easily identify the streets and hotspot areas for illegal dumping.
During the course of their training, the rangers initially shadowed the NMBM’s Town Rangers for a period of two weeks. During this time, they were taught in the field how to issue warnings and fines. After this period, the Community Waste Rangers were deployed to patrol the designated hotspots in their areas of residence. In addition to this, they also created awareness of the dangers of illegal dumping and the benefits of a clean and hygienic environment by talking to the residents in their areas and handing out fliers with additional information.
This programme has been made possible thanks to funding awarded to the NMBM through the Tirelo Bosha programme to commence a community ranger pilot project. The Tirelo Bosha Public Service Improvement Facility is funded by the Belgian Government and funds pilot projects aimed at investigating methods for improving service delivery.
Illegal dumping has a devastating impact on society – environmentally, economically and psychologically. It encourages the breeding of vermin such as rodents, mosquitos, flies and maggots, which can lead to the spread of disease. It also reduces the quality of our environment and has the potential to cause soil, surface water and ground water pollution.
The NMBM also erected anti-dumping billboards in key areas across the Metro. The billboards were erected since the inception of the project and the last 13 billboards will be erected next week as the project comes to an end.