GWERU – Gweru City Council is receiving many complaints from residents about the shoddy work done in the development of Woodlands River Valley residential stands by a private property developer, the newly appointed town clerk, Elizabeth Gwatipedza has said.
Some complaints are that the roads are so narrow that refuse compact trucks cannot reach certain houses and the houses are too close to the dumpsite that residents are being affected by pollution from the fires that are started there from time to time.
Gwatipedza conceded that the development of the 3 000 stands was a shoddy job but said it was no longer time to point fingers at each other but to find a solution to the problems. She said the suburb had not been commissioned but a memorandum of understanding has been written as she is still going through all the documents submitted by the developer.
"Really things were not properly done at Woodlands if a refuse compactor cannot reach houses to collect waste. Some people did not do their work properly. Yesterday I had Woodlands residents in my office complaining about a lot of things which were not done properly and these included the narrow roads," said the town clerk.
Woodlands was developed by a private property developer River Valley Properties and the town engineer had in the past complained that the whole project was carried out without any inspection from the City's works and engineering department in violation of the law and regulations.
He said it would cost the ratepayers not less than $5 million to rectify the problem. He said that the dumpsite should be moved to another place or the suburb be destroyed.
The developer had threatened to sue The Mirror for publishing the story when the reporter contacted her for comment last year.
Residents of Woodlands complained that council was burning waste almost every day and there was little consideration for health issues.
On the burning of waste, Gwatipedza did not deny that the local authority was burning waste just a few meters from a residential area. She however, said that there was need for the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and council to come together and resolve the problem.
"Dumpsites are not supposed to be permanent under normal circumstances. What should have happened however, before establishing a residential area was to relocate the dumpsite. Woodlands is under Vungu and the RDC has no capacity to deal with this issue so we need to work together now to resolve the problem.
"This should have been relocated before putting a residential suburb there but some people did not do their work well.
"But now we are not looking at who did wrong or who did what? We are now focusing on correcting the damage. We know we need to relocate the dumpsite and we are working on the issue. So far the work suburb has not been commissioned, a memorandum of understanding was written but I need to go through all the Woodlasnds documents and we will move from there," said Gwatipedza.