English | Dzongkha Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Haa landfill in shambles

Jan 4, 2021

The Haa waste disposal site at Anakha in Uesu Gewog continues to be a nuisance. It is reported to endanger the health of people and animals nearby while also damaging the forest. The 10 years capacity of the landfill was over in 2016, but waste disposal at the site seems to find no end.

Two years ago, when the public complained of the unmanaged landfill, the dzongkhag administration had assured the people that they would improve the site. However, two years on, nothing has happened.  

The landfill does not even have a proper fence which invites scavengers to make it their rummaging ground. Moreover, cattle from nearby villages of Girina and Jyenkana scavenge the garbage, deteriorating their health. 

Dawa Tshering from Girina-Kana Chiwog, said in the last one to two years, many cattle succumbed to indigestion and injuries.  ”We came across pins and metallic wires in their carcasses,’’ he added. 

The locals also alleged that medical wastes are also disposed-off there, posing risk to their health and a village’s water source. ”The surroundings of the landfill are so polluted that it is posing risk to our water source nearby,’’ said Kencho Dorji from Girina_Kana. 

One of the challenges faced by the dzongkhag administration is some agencies disposing their waste at the landfill. Haa Dzongdag, Kinzang Dorji said, ”we wrote to them asking not to dump their waste there but they did not heed to that.’’

On contrary, the dzongdag also claimed that they deploy excavators and other machinery to manage the landfill, but locals say they have not seen a change. According to locals, it would immensely benefit them if the dzongkhag administration relocates the landfill.

According to the dzongdag, they had plans to develop and extend the landfill but it took them a long time to obtain environmental clearance. 

However, if things go as planned, it won’t be too long before the issues are resolved. The dzongdag said the landfill development is in their plan and they have also talked to a private waste management firm to recycle the waste there. 

Meanwhile, for the passers-by, a heavily littered surrounding and scavenging cattle limping is a common sight. A group of villagers also removed cans from the hooves of several cattle, recently. Until the extension of the landfill, the issues are far from over.


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