Scavengers face bleak future: Lumbangan dump ready for closure PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 June 2013 11:19

Scavengers at the Lumbangan dump are apprehensive of losing their daily income from waste collection and recycling once the Salaan Sanitary Landfill will put into start operation.

Some 100 families are at present depending their livelihood on the waste they collect from the dumpsite which can be sold to junkshops and other similar outlets.

Lucio Santos, a scavenger for almost 20 years, told members and officers of the Zamboanga Press Club who were at the site yesterday for its yearly gift-giving activity, that he and his fellow scavengers would face financial difficulties as soon as the local government closes the dumpsite to give way to the modern landfill facility in Barangay Salaan.

“Maskin pakilaya, ta puede kame ase labida aki para na de amun familya. Ta puede ya kame imbia de amun maga anak na escuela. Pero si serra ya coneste, ay pasa ya gayot kame tormento (with the little amount we earn from collecting salable materials, we can already send our children to school. But the moment it will be closed, we would really face difficulties),” said Santos said as he and the rest of scavengers appealed to city government for alternatives like possible jobs as street sweepers.

The city’s open-type dumpsite was first operated in Barangay Talon-Talon before it was transferred to Lumbangan 21 years ago.

Because of itsi improper way of disposing collected garbage and the danger it possesses to scavengers, Congress has enacted a law discouraging the putting up of an open dumpsite in all localities and as an alternative, the law on the establishment of a sanitary landfill was passed. It mandates all local government units to put up SLF in accordance with existing environment laws.

An enabling ordinance, likewise, was approved by the City Council several years ago for its establishment in the city in which a vast land in Salaan was purchased for its purpose. — Jimmy Villaflores