Health alert: Bujumbura struggling to manage waste

Residents of Burundian capital Bujumbura are at risk of cholera as city authorities struggle to manage waste. The only landfill site in Buterere, north of the capital is choked.

“For the population, this waste is a danger. This stinking smell is not good. Children often get sick. It’s really a big problem. We ask the State to relocate this landfill site in our municipality’‘, Simon, a Buterere resident said.

Despite the obvious consequences, people who collect leftover foods at the site say they have no choice.

“This land fill site is very useful to us. We collect coal particles, sweet potatoes, etc. We arrive here at 7:00 in the morning. We are here every day. We don’t care about that bad smell. We have to struggle to live,’‘ said another resident, Nzogirabandya.

Environmentalists are concerned about the situation.

“The situation is very alarming. Because if you go to all the districts, you will find sites of uncontrolled landfills. We are destroying the environment and forgetting that we are the first victims of the harmful effects of this degradation. The cost of health care will be more than what could have been done for the proper management of this waste. We can’t have a household within 2 meters of a landfill. when I see a 3-year-old, 4-year-old child next to this, I ask how he or she can grow up?

The menace has affected the Lake Tanganyika on the shores of Bujumbura. The lake provides over 90 percent of water used in the city.

The Municipal Technical Services, a department under the Bujumbura City Council, responsible for waste management say they are no longer able to deal with the problem.