Tunatazama - Community Monitors

(2) What items are dumped and how does this affect the health of people and our environment

A Community Monitors Investigation into the Waste Crisis in Sekhukhune, October – November 2021

. What Items are dumped ?

Waste from Homes – Plastic bottles (water, cold drinks , juices, cooking oil bottles) -Plastic ( detergents, medicines and cosmetics, toothpaste tubes) –Plastic bags from supermarkets and spaza shops –Milk Cartons , spice containers -Card board boxes –Used diapers -Food cans –traditional brooms -Hair Pieces -Old shoes -Waste food , chicken feathers -Electronic items – broken TVS -Car Parts , Bicycle tires Dead Animals

Building Waste : Broken glass -Ceiling boards -Broken floor tiles -Used Cement bags -Concrete blocks -Bricks

Waste from Taverns and People visiting taverns : -Beer bottles

. How dumping affects our Health and the Environment

Cuts from Sharp Objectives

We see broken bottles all over the place ,  as well as tins with sharp edges , broken window panes and roofing tiles
They are dumped in places where people walking could get cut . Children play in these areas and pick up objects to play with, they are open to getting hurt.
Infectious diseases from Dumping of dead animals

Dead live stock as well as disposals diapers are found dumped  in all areas .
They carry infectious diseases. It is said that even when it is dumped in a formal dumpsites it gives of methane gasses which contributes to global warming
Rats and other creatures grow in theses dumps and spread diseases.
Chemicals from Burning Waste

Burning is a common way of people disposing of waste in Sekhukhune. They burn stuff like plastics, disposal diapers .These have chemicals which can cause respiratory illnesses
Rivers are Polluted

People dump on river banks. The waste carry items which can pollute the water Diapers can cause serious contamination of water. People and cattle in our community drink water from the rivers
Cattle feeding on waste become sick and can die

In Sekhukhune since the days of our great grandparents kept cattle.  Many families still making a living from keeping cattle . The mines broke down all traditional grazing areas. Peoples cattle (cows and goats) roam around looking for grass. They go to dumpsites where they eat plastic. We see many cows dying, when they cut them up we see plastics in their stomach.
Traditional Ritual sites are desecrated by waste dumping

We have many sites where people do traditional rituals. These areas are becoming polluted with waste.  This is disturbing to people in the community who see these sites as sacred
The soil is polluted

Most people dig holes and bury the waste . Some parts of the waste decay and nourish the soil however most items , such as plastics , boxes with chemicals, diapers , don’t decay. They contaminate the soil
Open dumps near houses give off unpleasant smells

People sometimes dump close to the houses where they live . This results in bad smells experienced by the families .
Strong winds spreads the dust and the dirt from the open dumps all around in ot the yards of people .
Rats and other creatures  increase in these areas . They carry diseases

Children Playing near dump sites are at risk

Dumping Household chemicals and medicines
Households items such as detergents, old food , plastic juice bottles ,  medicines such as cough mixture is a danger to children who play around the dumps.
 Children eat food they find , drink from plastics juice bottles and medicine bottles such as cough mixtures.

Sekhukhune Residents – Please add your picture to this page, Please send your picture with a short statement : Please say how the waste that you see affects the health of people and the environment . Please WhatsApp your pictures and statements to : +27 79 623 5248