Ema drags Harare to court over Pomona

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Tarisai Machakaire

STAFF WRITER

machakairet@dailynews.co.zw

ENVIRONMENTAL Management Agency (Ema) has dragged City of Harare to court following numerous fire outbreaks at Pomona Dumpsite that polluted air for residents.

Ema wants Harare ordered to submit within three months the Pomona Dumpsite Decommissioning Plan for approval.

This should indicate timelines and adequate budget for the construction of a properly engineered landfill in the 2021 Council Budget.

In the meantime Harare should implement proper fire prevention measures.

In the application filed before the High Court, Harare is cited as respondents alongside the acting town clerk Prosper Chonzi.

According to an affidavit deposed by Christopher Mushava an Ema official responsible for Environmental Protection, Harare operates its Waste Management Enterprise at Pomona site which has become a scene of recurring fire outbreaks causing air pollution in the city.

The court heard plumes of smoke stretching over a 20-kilometre radius from the dumpsite have been recorded with several residents complaining of respiratory health effects from unavoidable inhalation.

In 2012, Harare was summoned by Ema over several issues including improper solid waste management at Pomona and was found guilty and ordered to ensure best practices at the dumpsite.

In September 2013, Harare undertook to ensure the issues were addressed but up to 2016 Pomona dumpsite was set ablaze on different occasions and caused massive air pollution.

The court heard on July 18 this year, Ema monitored Pomona to ensure there were fire suppression measures in place at the site, however, barely a month after, a fire broke out on August 14 only to be put out on August 30.

“The first respondent has repeatedly shown a general disregard to follow proper waste management practices and this has led to this recurring problem of fire outbreaks and massive pollution within the city confines,” Mushava said.

“The first respondent has failed to take measures to properly manage their Pomona waste disposal site and to implement proper fire prevention measures which have resulted in violation of the Ema Act and regulations with regards to air pollution and the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

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