The government through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has disbursed 5,057,939.83 Kwacha to three Local Authorities for the purpose of construction, development and maintenance of sanitary facilities.
The three Local Authorities are Chienge, Mpulungu and Mazabuka.
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Permanent Secretary for Administration Maambo Haamaundu stated that the funds will be utilized towards the support of waste management efforts in the three districts.
Mr Haamaundu explained that Chienge Town Council received K1,604,487.50 for the purpose of working on a number of dumpsites, therefore, it is the Ministry’s expectation that having been given these resources, the identified dumpsites will be worked on accordingly. Similarly, the Mpulungu Town Council has received K1,998,972.95 for working on various dumpsites, and water points, and all this money is meant to address issues surrounding solid waste management. While the Mazabuka Town Council has received K1,454,479.38 for the purpose of putting up a wall at the dumpsite and other facilities, the whole idea is to have solid waste to be managed properly.
“As you might be aware that the issue of solid waste is a matter that has been topical and it’s one of the core mandates of the Ministry that we need to ensure that solid waste is managed properly,” he explained
Mr Haamaundu has implored the Local Authorities to work closely with the personnel from the Ministry of Water and Sanitation Development, because there are water points, waterborne toilets and other amenities such as sewerages which need to be worked on, it is therefore, important that as much as the infrastructure will be built by the Local Authority, it is necessary that they work closely with this particular Ministry to ensure that the necessary standards are adhered to.
“It is also important that we take cognizant of the fact that the President Hichilema has given a directive that, we need to have waterborne toilets, even as they will be working on the waterborne toilets in public places, they must adhere to the standards as prescribed by the Ministry of Water and Sanitation Development because they are the ones who are running in this activity,” he said
The Permanent Secretary mentioned that some of the intended projects are construction of three (3) dumpsites and fencing of the sites namely Mununga, Puta and Lupiya in Chienge district.
He further mentioned that the other projects include, the construction of VIP toilets and shelters in identified sites, procurement of waste management tools and provision of access to safe and clean drinking water.
Mr Haamaundu disclosed that the government is cognizant of challenges being encountered by communities especially in rural areas such as water supply and sanitation.
“It is the Government’s aim to increase access to safe and clean drinking water, access to proper sanitation and proper disposal of garbage in line with the goal to keep Zambia clean, Green and healthy,” Mr Haamaundu said
He implored the three Local Authorities to use the funds for its intended purpose which will help to improve the livelihood of the local people.
Mr Haamaundu has since guided that the three Local Authorities should regularly submit to the Ministry all progress reports and financial returns once funds are utilized.
He stated that solid waste is cardinal that needs to be managed properly, outside the three areas where we have allocated these resources, it is also necessary that the rest of the Councils across the country must begin to work in a very proactive manner to ensure that solid waste is properly managed and does not become an issue, which entails communicating to the public by sending messages on the importance of managing this resource.
“I call it a resource because when harnessed properly it can actually result in an income generating activity for a number of youths, women, and Cooperatives, in Lusaka for instance, there are businesses that are involved in recycling plastics, paper, and there are also other businesses that are trying to come on board in recycling of solid waste, turning it into energy,” he stated
Mr Haamaundu alluded that, this is the direction that most Local Authorities must be moving to so that, where people are seeing a challenge in terms of solid waste management, the Councils must see an opportunity to deal with solid waste, and in the process provide other services to the community, as it is the role and responsibility of the Local Authorities.
“I urge the public to be responsible they dispose off their solid waste, and for those who have not subscribed to solid waste companies, please do so because we need to live in a clean and green environment,” Mr Haamaundu said