Fungayi Munyoro /Ellen Mlambo
CHIPINGE – Residents of Chipinge Town have objected to plans by the local authority to regularise a macadamia processing plant established by Dexing, a Chinese company in the low density residential area.
The macadamia processing plant was built on a land originally planned for a cross border commercial rank. There was no permit for the plant and now the company is seeking its regularization.
A notice was placed in the media on July 9, this year seeking regularisation of the development in terms of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act, Chapter 29:12 revised edition 1996 which requires that notices be placed in the local newspaper to enable the public to submit comments.
Chipinge Town Community Association (CTCA) vice chairman Nelson Dhibi immediately objected to such regularization.
He argued that the factory is already making a lot of noise and the processing of the nuts creates an environmental problem as it produces foul smell. He said the byproducts clog the surrounding environment and pollutes the local stream.
Chipinge Town Council chairman Zivanai Nyakuchena said an environmental impact assessment carried out by the relevant departments has found nothing wrong with the site of the plant.
“I object to the establishment of an industrial factory shed. There is a lot of noise pollution that is already coming from this factory. There is also environmental pollution in tems of the byproducts of the macadamia nuts which produces a very foul smell and also clogs the surroundings including pollution of a local stream which is the only source of clean water to the residents of the surrounding area. This factory should be relocated to a designated Industrial area, ” said Dhibi.
“This factory is in a low density area and is noisy. As of now it is operating at just 40% of its maximum capacity but the noise is too much. At night we can hardly sleep because of the noise. No such regularisation is permissible,” said a resident who declined to be named.
“There are reasonable grounds for objecting to this because we can’t have industrial operation inside a residential area, ” said another resident.
However, another resident Dakarai Sithole said the plant was good for job creation and must stay put.
“There is nothing wrong with this plant. It has actually created employment for our community. It is a benefit to our community. A lot of people are earning a living from there,” said Sithole.
Blessing Mutema said residents had got into the mode of opposing anything done by the local authority.
“There is always a mentality that everything that the council does is bad. How many jobs are going to be lost if this thing is razed to the ground. Its actually a packaging factory. The truth is that there is more noise coming from beerhalls than this factory. Some decisions are made out of hatred of council workers, ” said Mutema of Gaza suburb.
Fungayi Munyoro /Ellen Mlambo