United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has awarded an innovation grant to 10 sustainable youth-led enterprises in sustainable waste management in Lusaka and Ndola.
Speaking during the virtual Innovation Award Ceremony, UNDP Resident Representative Lionel Laurens disclosed the 10 selected youth innovations who were awarded USD 4,000 each to address sustainable waste management challenges were drawn from 187 entrepreneurs who applied for the Call, which ran from June to August this year.
“187 entrepreneurs applied for the Call, which ran from June to August this year. The 10 selected youth innovations are awarded USD 4,000 each to address sustainable waste management challenges in Ndola and Lusaka districts and will be enrolled into a mentorship programme to sharpen their business skills. The recipients include 6 entrepreneurs from Lusaka, 4 from Ndola whilst five of them are female-led initiatives,” Mr. Laurens stated.
He urged the recipients to take advantage of the opportunity to develop their business initiatives and that UNDP had demonstrated confidence in their vision by choosing to invest resources to start up their businesses.
Lusaka City Council (LCC) Public Health Director Edgar Mulwanda reiterated the need to tackle waste from a sustainability perspective.
Mr. Mulwanda expressed happiness at the prospect of the innovators helping to accelerate progress towards the 2030 vision of the Council.
“The multi-faceted challenges in waste management have grave impacts on human health and the environment, causing diseases such as cholera, dysentery and pollution, as well as water, air, soil or land contamination, proliferation of pests and vermin and the loss of aesthetic beauty,” Mr Mulwanda indicated.
And in thanking UNDP on behalf of all awarded entrepreneurs, Lizzy Banda said the award was going to go a long way in ensuring attainment of their dreams.
The innovation grant aims to promote sustainable waste management practices that improve the welfare of the waste collectors, provides employment opportunities to the youth and women and promotes a circular economy through recycling of waste
The Innovation Call was open to Zambian youths aged between 18 – 35, with 50 percent allocation to women in Lusaka and Ndola. The call focused on solutions to the challenge of waste recycling, with the demonstrable capacity of their entrepreneur to continue their activities beyond the life of the funding made available.
This was contained in a statement made available to the media in Lusaka by UNDP Communications Analyst, Mercy Khozi.