Mothers in Mafukani village near Matavhela have allegedly created a heap of dirty nappies in the village, saying it is better to dump them there than in their own yards. Now, residents are up in arms, saying it is unsightly and a health risk.
“These women are just evil and cruel,” says an angry Thabelo Mabila. Mabila believes the women should be punished for their actions.
“How can someone do this?” Mabila says. “Why don’t they dig pits in their own yards and throw the nappies in there. They only think of themselves.”
“We also have children who play in the very same streets where these nappies lie,” Mabila adds. “Who knows what they can end up doing with those nappies,” said Thabelo.
The UK group The Real Nappy Campaign advocates for a shift away from disposable nappies to more enviromentally friendly cloth diapers. The campaign estimates that a baby will use about 5,000 nappies in his or her nappy-wearing lifetime. That produces the equivalent to 130 full black refuse bags.
The Vhembe District Municipality does not supply refuse removal trucks to the village, but collects trash from a nearby dumping site. Villagers complain that the site is too far and many end up burying or burning trash in their yards.
Fellow resident Tshavhungwe Mukununde accuses women of stockpiling the dirty nappies before disposing of them in mounds.
“I don’t have children in nappies, but I suffer the consequences of having these nappies lying around my yard because dogs pick them up and leave them here,” Mukununde said. “It’s bad.”
Now, Ward Councillor Sylvia Thambatshira has stepped in. She told OurHealth that the issue had been reported to the municipal office.
“There will be an apt punishment for those women who continue polluting the streets and putting other people’s health in danger,” Thambatshira warned.