Government says the waste management sector has potential to contribute to the growth of the economy.
Local Government Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga is therefore urging stakeholders in the waste management industry to take it upon themselves to become champions of the necessary paradigm shift that no longer views waste as merely a by-product of society’s economic and social activities to be dealt with by government, but rather as something from which both the private and public sectors can derive economic opportunities.
Speaking when he officiated at a symposium aimed at discussing issues around waste management based on a study on waste management with a focus on decent green jobs creation in six cities namely: Lusaka, Livingstone, Chipata, Ndola, Kitwe and Solwezi, dubbed turning Zambia’s Trash Talk into public Private Business and Employment Opportunities, Mr. Malupenga reiterated government’s commitment to transforming waste into a resource that is aimed at improving the economy.
Mr. Malupenga says fostering sustainable development and reducing people’s vulnerability from the risk of climate change, natural and man-made disasters and environmental degradation are key pillars under the framework of the sixth national development plan.
He has also observed that solid waste management is a growing challenge for city authorities in several developing countries.
And speaking at the same event, Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) Director General John Msimuko says the changing human consumption patterns and economic activities are contributing to the generation of various types of waste that require sustainable management.
Mr. Msimuko says waste has been recognized and utilized as a resource and has resulted in significant employment creation.
He says ZEMA remains committed to providing regulatory guidance in waste management in the country.
And speaking earlier, International Labour Organization ILO Country Director for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, Alexio Musindo says about 16 million Zambians and 7 billion people in the world produce waste every day.
Mr. Musindo says it is however sad to note that very few people know how much waste they produce, what happens to the waste, how it is collected and where it is dumped.
He says the amount of waste generated by humans globally will more than triple from 1.3 billion tons today to 4 billion tons by 2100.
And speaking at the same event, Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Timo Olkkonen says the public can benefit from the waste that is being pilled everywhere.
Mr. Olkkonen says there is need for Zambia to lead the way to carbon-neutral circular economy where materials are not destroyed at the end of their useful life, but are used to make new products