Taking out the taka taka

garbage-truck-topTaking care of one’s refuse and getting it collected is not an easy project in Dar.

Firstly because of the climate: rotting and smelling and lack of hygiene are rife.

Secondly, finding a company to do the job — several offer their services, usually for 30,000 to 50,000 TSH for a month of weekly collection.

Maybe there’s a contract or just a deposit payment and all is sorted — it seems.

Once seeing the selection of refuse trucks being used and the conditions of its workers I can undertand the challenges.

Trucks often seem to be leftovers from the eighties: tough oldies that can handle any dirt road, puddles or other obstacles.

Garbage truck.

As the truck arrives one gets the feeling a heavy weight army vehicle is coming to a stop in front of your house.

As the truck arrives one gets the feeling a heavy weight army vehicle is coming to a stop in front of your house.

Once the bins have been emptied and the workers take up their seats again on top of the garbage in the lorry, the engine often refuses to start.

Pushing is worth a try but with four to five slight guys, it’s an impossible mission.

A passing empty sand truck will help by giving a pull and then work continues.

Every now and again collection fails completely.

Invariably it is caused by the truck. Either it got stuck in the mud at the dump area or the engine just gave up in the middle of the collection route.

Either way, an extra week of smelly garbage in the yard is unavoidable.

Unless one asks a guy walking around who will load it in his wheelbarrow and for 20,000 TSH dump it in a location you don’t want to think of.

Trash is one of the interesting challenges of life in this city.

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About the Author

Josie van den Hoek

Josie first visited Dar es Salaam in 2000 and is still here. She writes about encounters on her daily walks and Tanzanian life.