Despite Incessant Rains: Municipality Working Hard Against Overgrowth on Road Reserves
The Municipal Council of Manzini would like to assure citizens that, notwithstanding the ongoing torrential rains, an effort is being made to ensure that road reserves, recreational parks and cemeteries in the city are maintained against excessive vegetation overgrowth. In December 2021, the Municipality managed to remove road reserve vegetation overgrowth in six townships, namely; Extension 6, Extension 7, Coates Valley, Thomasdale, Madonsa and Woodmasters. The city centre and the city’s main entry/exit roads were also maintained in terms of vegetation overgrowth removal. In other townships the Municipality managed to have the main streets and traffic intersections cleared of vegetation overgrowth. The sad reality is that the combination of continual rainfall and sunshine causes vegetation to grow at a quicker rate than usual. The ongoing weather condition has put pressure on the Municipality to work even harder. In an effort to meet the demand, the Municipality has had to procure additional overgrowth removal equipment (brush cutters). As a result, a total of nine more townships have been planned for overgrowth removal before the end of this month. These are Fairview North, Fairview South, Helemisi, Sikhunyana, Trelawney Park, Zakhele, Two Sticks, Ndumbu and parts of Ngwane Park.
Recreational parks in the city centre and four townships (Zakhele, Fairview North, Fairview South and Madonsa) have also been maintained. The remaining ones will be attended to before the end of this month. The Municipality has also been able to remove vegetation overgrowth on the Golf Course Cemetery and is presently completing works at the Ngwane Park Cemetery. The Municipality requests citizens to exercise patience as it makes an effort to cover the remaining townships in the shortest possible time. The truth is that the ongoing incessant rains make it difficult to work at the desired pace. Often times the Municipality finds itself having to withdraw the vegetation overgrowth removal teams from site whenever it rains as it is impossible to use the equipment during rainy weather. With the reopening of schools, the Municipality will also prioritise the roads that are mostly utilized by school going children to ensure they are without vegetation overgrowth.
…PROPERTY OWNERS URGED TO DO THEIR PART, REMOVE OVERGROWTH ON UNDEVELOPED PLOTS
Owners of property in the City of Manzini are reminded of their responsibility to maintain vegetation overgrowth on their properties; in particular undeveloped plots. It is not the Municipality’s responsibility to remove vegetation overgrowth on undeveloped plots but that of the owner. Section 8, as read with section 11(d) of the Public Health Act 5/1969 refers to vegetation overgrowth (grass, shrubs and trees) as a nuisance. The Municipality, therefore, expects owners of plots to periodically visit their properties and see to it that they are well maintained with no vegetation overgrowth. This is because overgrown pockets of land often become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, rodents and snakes. They also provide a conducive hideout for thieves. The following seeks to educate citizens about vegetation overgrowth and its negative impact to the quality of life in the city;
- What is vegetation overgrowth?
It is the growth of vegetation to non-acceptable levels
- Impacts of vegetation overgrowth
- May promote the breeding of certain pests and insects such as mosquitoes that transmit malaria.
- Overgrowth of vegetation may overhang onto pedestrian walkways, making it difficult for citizens to walk freely. It may also block road signage leading to increased traffic accidents.
- It may provide a hideout for criminals and snakes; in the process endangering neighbouring residents.
- Poorly maintained vegetation can also result in serious health risks which may be fatal at times.
- Responsibilities of property owners in relation to vegetation overgrowth
- Cut grass and shrubs, making sure they are as short as possible.
- Cut branches of vegetation, ensuring they do not overhang onto your neighbor’s property.
- Remove all the remains of your cuttings after clearing vegetation overgrowth. Removal of vegetation overgrowth by burning is strongly prohibited in the city as it could cause a serious health risk to neighbouring citizens and can possibly damage their properties. This practice poses a negative impact on the environment.
- Thereafter take care to ensure that vegetation in your property is maintained to acceptable levels at all times. If you do not reside in the property, make it a point to visit it from time to time to monitor against vegetation overgrowth. Same applies to owners of undeveloped plots.
- Consequence of not managing vegetation overgrowth
- Anyone who fails to maintain vegetation overgrowth in their property is served with two written notices and thereafter hauled to a Court of Law, as stipulated in the Public Health Act, 1969.
…PLEASE REMEMBER TO TAKE COVID-19 VACCINE
Citizens of Manzini city are reminded to ensure that they vaccinate against the Covid-19 virus. Those who are eligible to take booster shots are also encouraged to do so. Taking the vaccine helps reduce chances of hospitalization and death as a result of the virus. Having as many citizens as possible taking the vaccine will contribute to the country’s goal of achieving herd immunity. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the best way to escape the drastic effects of the Covid-19 virus is through countries achieving herd immunity. Herd immunity is a situation whereby at least 70 percent of a country’s population has taken the Covid-19 vaccine. The Municipal Council of Manzini, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, recently established a Covid-19 vaccination station within the LaMvelase Clinic. The vaccination site opens on Mondays to Fridays (excluding public holidays), between 8:30am and 4pm. Alternative vaccination sites are Sobhuza Clinic and the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital. Citizens are further reminded to, at all times, practice the Covid-19 prevention protocols including wearing of face masks, regularly washing hands with soap and running water , hand sanitizing as well as ensuring physical distancing.