Non-collection of waste and the unremitting pollution of the environment in Francistown have got the potential to plunge the country’s second city into an environmental crisis which could lead to disease outbreaks, says an environmentalist.

Scores of residents in the city fear for their health following an announcement by the Francistown City Council (FCC) that the council’s landfill has been closed until further notice.

The city’s landfill, situated east of the Francistown central business district (CBD) was closed this week due to difficulties in accessing the dumping site thanks to the recent heavy rains in Francistown.

Now, the council is pleading with residents and the business community to dispose of solid waste at Masunga sanitary landfill more than 100km northeast of Francistown. “The public and the business community are advised to dispose of solid waste at the Masunga Sanitary Landfill,” said the FCC Senior Public Relations Officer, Joseph Modise Wasebure in a statement, and added that the council is working around the clock to rectify the situation.

However, an environmentalist in Francistown who spoke to The Voice on condition of anonymity said the development could throw Francistown into an ecological crisis. “Disease outbreaks stemming from indiscriminate pollution of the environment and non-collection of garbage at business premises and homesteads will definitely occur in a number of years,” said the environmentalist.

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