Friday, June 14, 2024

Let’s Talk Garbage!


By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/Social Analyst

One of the biggest challenges that our country grapples with year in and out is the indiscriminate disposal of waste. We seem to be devoid of the determination, creativity nor innovation to curb the vice.

For clarity’s sake, we are not talking about New Kasama, Ibex or Kabulonga where Ministers, Ambassadors and apamwamba’s reside. Things seem to be in order here. We are talking about townships, shanty compounds and our markets. Heaps of garbage are ubiquitous on every side of the road or street corner. And if you venture in places such as Soweto or Chisokone markets, you are likely to find individuals happily conducting their business oblivious of the overpowering whiff of stench from mountains of garbage right under their nostrils!

Do we honestly require the services of international consultants or rocket scientists to help find workable solutions?

Lest we are accused of being armchair critics, we shall endeavor to offer a few practical solutions:

1. Inculcating Sense of patriotism in our Kids

The Ministry of Education should consider introducing patriotism…..yes, love of the country in school curricular. Part of the syllabus should be inculcating a sense of patriotism and responsibility in our children with particular emphasis on keeping our environment clean right from Kindergarten through to University. We often notice a good number of students discarding litter anyhow after consuming their jiggies or imbibing their drinks! If greater emphasis is placed on love of the country, we don’t think children who are the future of this nation would’ve no qualms about polluting our environment.

2. Classification of litter at source

In civilised societies, litter is classified right at the source where it’s being generated – plastics, bottles and good wastes are kept separately. This way, respective recycling companies can easily access whatever material they may be looking for, be it bottles, plastics or paper while our farmers can equally easily scavenge for food wastes to feed their livestock or make compost manure. Councilors, is this a narrative you may pursue?

3. Designated refuse collection points

CDF is in great abundance in the New Dawn Administration; we see no point why we can’t use part of these funds to procure portable gigantic bins that may be placed in strategic places in our communities. Alternatively, councils should should procure rubbish bins and make it mandatory for every household to have a bin. Dump tracks can collect refuse once a week. Just after independence, the local authority maintained the tradition of supplying bins to every household and ensured refuse was collected every now and then. What has happened to this initiative?

4. Flying litter from our vehicles

It’s disappointing to see litter flying from buses let alone impressive vehicles as one would assume people driving such vehicles are well informed. In countries such as Botswana, you’d be crossing a red line throwing litter through the window. What’s so complicated about replicating such measures in our motherland.?

Ministers, Members of Parliament, Councillors and council officials that’s your food for thought…..but do some of even take time to research save for except a few?


  1. A timely and long overdue article as indeed garbage collection and disposal is one of the critical challenges of our time, across the country, but especially here in Lusaka.

    Us parents also have an important role in training our children on the need for all of us to be responsible for the waste that we generate, from banana or orange peels, to empty platic wrappers and bottles, most effectively by our own example.

  2. Am surprised that the usual suspects haven’t made comments on this subject, is it beyond their comprehension? As Gordon called Kaizar Zulu, we aren’t surprised……he suffers from verbal diarrhoea!

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