Local authorities challenged to transform dumpsites into landfills
Harare (New Ziana)-Local authorities should transform dumpsites into landfills as the country intensifies efforts to ensure clean environments, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry deputy Minister Barbra Rwodzi told journalists on the second day of a national clean-up blitz that most local authorities were being found wanting in terms of properly managing waste as evidenced by the presence of illegal dumpsites within cities and towns.
“Let me remind local authorities that it is their responsibility to collect and dump waste at designated sites in accordance with their by-laws.
“Local authorities are however encouraged to go beyond collection and dumping waste. Dumpsites must be transformed into properly constructed landfills created in line with the prescribed Environmental Management Agency standards,” she said.
She said only Victoria Falls and Norton Town Councils had landfills.
“Victoria Falls and Norton Town Councils have taken the lead in this regard and EMA stands ready to insist on the design of the appropriate landfills,” she said.
Rwodzi said as part of the blitz, her Ministry, through EMA and other law enforcement agencies, had stepped up monitoring to ensure compliance with waste management regulations.
“As such, all institutions including local authorities and businesses were required to comply with the law. It is not right for anyone to operate a business without litre bins accessible by customers. Be warned,” she said.
“Similarly, we will now step up efforts to ensure that all public passenger service vehicles have litter bins,” she added.
She urged local authorities to promote and facilitate waste recycling by companies, women and community groups through providing the necessary support.
“Zimbabwe has the potential to grow its waste recycling services market and we invite potential investors to come through and as Government, we will facilitate such investment to be expedited.
“Let me reiterate that local authorities and businesses must all play ball in order to ensure a clean Zimbabwe. Going forward, a lot of effort will be put on compliance by local authorities, companies and other institutions. And we will not hesitate to name and shame irresponsible corporate citizens in our pursuit for a clean environment,” she said.
Rwodzi added: “There will be rigorous and regular inspections until we rid cities, towns and growth points of illegal dumpsites and other manifestations of poor waste management.”
EMA director general Aaron Chigona said at the moment, the country had over 70 waste recycling companies.
“To date we have recorded 71 companies that are into recycling and we are working around 2 500 tons per month of recyclable material that we are collecting. These include plastics, metals and and old batteries.
“We are also looking forward to encouraging takers of other materials which are not yet there, like paper,” he said.
Turning to the clean up blitz, Chigona said :”As we pursue our clean up blitz, which commenced yesterday, we are sitting on 53 orders that we have done. 77 tickets were also issued yesterday.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who on December 5, 2018 declared the first Friday of every month a National Clean-Up Day and has personally been leading it in government, recently implored companies and local councils resisting the initiative to embrace it voluntarily, or risk being forced to do so.