Ha Tsosane residents scoff at city council

. . . as MCC proposes modern waste management project

Mosa Maoeng

MASERU – Ha Tšosane residents are sceptical of the municipality’s ability to properly manage a proposed large-scale waste management project. Maseru City Council (MCC) has been publishing an advertisement for tenders to set up a new waste management plant in line with the national goal of a circular economy.

In an effort to enhance waste management within the city, particularly at the Ha Tšosane Dumpsite, MCC is set to launch a comprehensive project aimed at promoting a circular economy and sustainable development. A circular economic system is one based on the reuse and regeneration of materials or products, especially as a means of continuing production in a sustainable or environmentally friendly way.

The main idea behind is to minimise waste. Kelebone Tšilo, a resident of the troubled Ha Tsosane community this week expressed skepticism about MCC’s capability to manage such a large-scale project, citing past incompetence. He questioned the impact of the proposed circular economy and noted the lack of community involvement in the dumpsite management thus far.

“All I can say right now is that they need to engage formally with the community and ensure we are on the same page. It would be best for an international company to collaborate with a local company, which in this case, is the community,” Tšilo said. The proposed project will employ various contract models, including Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain, and Transfer (DBFOMT).

The primary objective is to enhance solid waste management within the municipal area by utilising the best available technology and environmental practices (BAT/BEP) while adhering to national laws and regulations and aligning with global best practices, as outlined in the MCC advertisement.

MCC Public Relations Manager, Lintle Mosala, in an interview with Public Eye this week, said the project aligns with the Tšoeneng relocation plan, which will proceed in stages. The first stage involves the de-stabilisation of the site, addressing community concerns such as odour and rodent infestation. Mosala noted that MCC and the contractor will engage with the community this week as part of the community engagement strategy.

“We have already engaged a designer who has planned the transfer of garbage to Tšoeneng. MCC will monitor this until December, after which the project will be handed over to the responsible parties. We are currently evaluating proposals from companies and will finalise the tendering process soon,” she said.

According to their advertisement, applicants are expected to submit expressions of interest for functions such as community engagement, stabilisation of the Ha Tšosane dumpsite, construction of artificial wetlands and leachate treatment ponds, waste sorting and recycling, establishment of buy-back centres, and destruction of non-recyclable and non-organic waste for clean energy generation. The bid is open to both local and international applicants.

Currently, MCC operates a dumpsite at Ha Tšosane, approximately 5 kilometres southeast of Maseru Central Business District. Mismanagement due to limited resources has led to health and fire risks, including untreated leachate affecting the Maqalika Dam. Addressing this issue holistically aligns with the government’s vision to rehabilitate and transform the dumpsite.

MCC is tasked with providing municipal and civic services to Maseru residents, including integrated solid waste management within its jurisdiction.