Trash hills in a busy street, embers munching garbage burned by people on the down side: in this area of northern Mayotte, like everywhere on the island, the collection of waste is disrupted by the social conflict that has lasted for more than six weeks. " Initially, I stored at home for two to three weeks and then, as I could not breathe, I did like everyone else says Salim Soilihi, resident of the commercial district of Majicavo Dubai. Here, one smells the smell throughout the district ".
It has been several weeks since the collection of garbage is disturbed in the whole of the municipalities of Mayotte because in particular dams erected in the North, Central and South of the island since 1 March 2018, as part of the movement of popular protest against insecurity led by an inter-union. Strongly disrupted in most villages, this pickup is not even assured at all in southern communes since the beginning of the movement, says Madi Said AFP, vice president in charge of the collection of the Union of elimination and recovery of waste from Mayotte (Sidevam 976). The barricades prevent, among other things, the passage of dump trucks and the free movement of employees of the intercommunal syndicate, who can not go to work.
In this context, on March 19, 2018, the organization in charge of garbage collection housewives of all the municipalities of the island (outside the capital Mamoudzou) decided to totally suspend the collection and to close all the dedicated sites, including the landfill and transfer docks, completely saturated, the port of Longoni (north) being surrounded by barricades, the export of waste can no longer be done. " Our employees received threats (protesters, Ed), that they were going to barricade the sites, burn the trucks because they did not respect the strike ", testifies Madi Said
Thousands of tons
The Sidevam 976 estimates that between 2,000 and 4,000 tons of waste accumulate in the streets of Mayotte. According to Madi Saïd, with the means currently available, as soon as the barricades are raised, it will take four months to return to a normal situation. The period could be reduced to one month, but this would require " exceptional means " including the rental of specific equipment, which would force the union to commit " a colossal sum ", the amount of which has not yet been quantified.
Since mid-March, one of the two communes of Petite-Terre has been deploying" exceptional measures "for" to reabsorb the maximum household waste in this period of health crisis ", but it recognizes in a statement that" storage areas (…) are limited "and that the evacuation to the treatment center of Grande-Terre is complicated by dams
" Since people do not sort, we end up with very large volumes in the streets, whereas 20% to 30% of garbage currently not picked up could have been saved thanks to this citizen gesture ", noticed he is also the director of the Star Urahafu, the organization in charge of the collection in the capital Mamoudzou. It also alerts on the health and ecological risks of non-collection of infectious waste related to the practice of medicine, and hazardous waste such as waste oil or pharmaceutical and chemical products. " Without collection, where are they going? ", he wonders, fearing pollution s soil and lagoon.
" This accumulation waste can be at the origin of the proliferation of diseases carried by rats, mosquitoes or flies such as leptospirosis, dengue fever or gastroenteritis ", indicates for its part Virginie Donatti, head of the department Health Environment of the delegation of Mayotte of the Indian Ocean Regional Health Agency. " The decomposition of waste or their combustion also produces toxic gases that can cause respiratory diseases ," she warns.