Pre-school kids plead with mayor to put out fire

2014-09-10 00:00

THE pupils of a Mooi River pre-school have sent a plea for help to their municipal manager to save them from toxic fumes emanating from a fire at the municipal dump near their school.

The children wrote a letter to Max Moyo on Monday, pleading with him to put out the fire that has been burning for the past 10 days.

In their letter, decorated with their handprints and their names, the children say “our school is covered with smoke from the burning dump; it is hard to have school in a big stink, please send someone to put out the fire”.

A source living in the area said a veld fire on August 28 caused the fire at the dump.

“An area of more than one hectare has been burning non-stop since, sending thick clouds of acrid smoke into the atmosphere. During the day the wind blows, and the smoke is diluted, but at night the cold air sinks, and a temperature inversion traps thick clouds of smoke in the entire valley.”

The man said local residents are swamped by heavy smoke at night, making it difficult to breathe.

He said about 70 children attend the local pre-school at the Old St John’s church building. “In the early morning the smoke is so heavy, it is difficult to even see the building from the front gate.”

The man said the fire department sent one small fire truck with 2 000 litres of water on one occasion.

“This had zero impact and was a complete waste of time. The only way to put the fire out is with compactors, sand, and to flood the dump with a huge pipe, sucking water directly from the Mooi River.”

In a statement, the DA said the creche, Bruntville township and Weston Agriculture College were affected by the pollution from the site. “For the municipal rubbish dump to have been burning for almost two weeks while acrid smoke fills the air is unacceptable.”

Attempts to contact Moyo yesterday were unsuccessful.

• thamsanqam@witness.coza

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