KAKATA, Margibi â€“ Every month, Kakata collects and disposes of 448 tons of waste.
This is according to information provided by the cityâ€™s mayor, Eddie Z. Murphy. Murphy told The Bush Chicken that of the 448 tons of waste, 16 tons of litter are collected from the streets alone.
Due the growing concern over waste in Kakata, the city government hired NC Sanitors and Services, a waste management company to collect the garbage from the city.
â€œThe company has been instructed to collect waste from the main streets of Kakata including other communities,â€ Murphy said.
The mayor was frustrated that residents were not actively helping to maintain the cleanliness of the city. He said after the streets are cleaned during the day, some residents would dispose their waste into the same streets at night.
As his goal is to maintain a clean city, Murphy said the city will now start fining citizens for littering. “Anyone caught throwing waste in the streets will be fined L$2,500,” he said.
The fines may not be entirely necessary for some residents, as the mayor said some residents are displeased with piles of trash in their neighborhoods.
Across the city, community leaders are now in discussion with the people to pay between L$300 and L$600 per household per month to NC Sanitors to continue the collection of garbage across the city.
â€œAwareness of the garbage payment is currently ongoing, and we are receiving positive responses from our people,â€ Murphy said.
The city is targeting 25 out of the 32 most populated communities for garbage collection, and an estimated 150 garbage collection bins are expected to be placed in those communities.
Murphy said that when work commences in the 25 targeted communities, 40 tons of waste will be collected on a daily basis, noting â€œwaste disposal is a global problem and very expensive to manage.â€
Kakata is not just stopping at waste management. The city has plans to improve overall sanitation for residents. NC Sanitors and Services has also brought into Kakata portable toilets that will be deployed across the city.
The public toilets will be especially useful as a recent survey conducted by the city government found that 60 percent of the houses built 30 to 40 years ago in Kakata are without toilets.
â€œThe city government is now making sure that anyone constructing a house should have a toilet within it,â€ Murphy said.
He said these portable toilets would be placed in strategic areas where residents of the city will pay L$5 to use.Â â€œIt is disheartening to see normal human beings defecating in the streets during night hours,” he said.
He said although there are enormous challenges in the city, the countyâ€™s superintendent and the Legislative Caucus are supporting him to get the job done.
Murphy then called on residents of Kakata to always keep their environment clean and stay healthy, adding â€œa healthy environment will always have healthy people.â€
Since Kakata’s founding in 1972, there has been no garbage collection service and residents have not had a proper means of waste disposal, often resolving to burn their trash.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah