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Angry residents block road in protest against pollution

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NOT AMUSED: Kgosi Rasetlhogwa

Angry Mokolodi residents yesterday barricaded the road leading to the quarry in protest against the pollution and dust caused by construction tipper trucks that pass through the residential area.

The mob, mainly formed by the village youth, piled rocks and old tyres on the road demanding that the construction company, Consolidated Construction Company, commonly known as CCC, should spray water on the dirt road to abate the dust.

“They are failing to compress the dust as agreed. We are therefore subjected to inhaling dust all the time. This badly affects our health and the younger children are always coughing because of the dust,” pointed out Maatla Maloma, one of the residents who admitted to have taken part in blocking the way for the heavy tippers.

Maloma added that it was not the first time that they blocked the road and that this has worked for them in the past as “they always hurry to spray water on the road when we block it. We will do it again and again until they honour their word and keep the dust suppressed.”

The village chief, Kgosi Boitlhoko Molomo Rasetlhogwa says he is in support of the road blockage. “I complain about the dust day in and day out and nothing much is being done about it. It is a public health hazard. Both the young and the old are forever coughing because of this dust and I wonder who will compensate us for it?”

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning, Rasetlhogwa and a senior officer from the said construction company had an altercation and according to the chief, “he was angry because the mob had blocked the road. His complaint was that he is expected to suppress the dust all the time yet other road users have not been burdened with such a responsibility.”

Speaking on behalf of CCC, PPC Cement Botswana, which runs the quarry, said it would look into the matter and respond accordingly. PPC’s General Manager, Tuelo Botlhole stated that he had heard about the morning incident but was yet to get all the details before making any formal response.

Ideally, the road has to be sprayed with water twice and day, once in the morning and again in the evening, but residents complain that the pattern is not being followed.