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Monday, October 28, 2013

Pomona Burning

Dr Marabini has been warning us for months on the dangers of burning garden waste, that our skyline is perpetually hazy because of a city of pyromaniacs.  Well, now we have had one of the biggest catastrophes a city could ever endure:  a massive fire burning non-organic waste.  If burning garden waste causes such problems, then burning non organic waste is a million times worse.  And we've just had millions of tonnes of poisonous fumes released into our atmosphere because of this culture of burning.  

We all have a right to breathe clean, fresh air.  When you or your neighbours burn your rubbish, you are violating the rights of others to clean fresh air.  And it will not stop unless we report repeating offenders.  Burning rubbish is illegal.  But because so many people do it, the Environmental Management Agency doesn't know who to fine and prosecute first, and not only that, because everyone else does it, it seems to give others justification to break the law.  

I urge everyone to phone the Environmental Management Agency and complain about the pomona fire.  They can be contacted on 792772 or 252087.  I also urge Hararians to cease and desist with burning their waste and to report any fires they see to EMA.  After speaking with EMA yesterday, they informed me that fines can be up to $5000 and that they cannot stop the rampant pollution unless people pick up the phone and report offenders.  If even a handful of us reported the many fires surrounding us, the EMA would be able to start raising money through fines and begin education programmes on the harm that littering and fires cause.  The ramifications of our blatant disregard for our environment is finally catching up with us, and after the Pomona fire, the health ramifications are going to be catastrophic, affecting the unborn, the very young, the very old and everyone in between.  As Lisa said, "the toxins from that fire store in body fat and can be passed onto unborn babies, causing deformities" 

What a shame that a disaster such as that which occurred at Pomona dump on Sunday had to happen before the residents of Harare realised the damage smoke pollution can do.  


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