JACK ZIMBA, Lusaka
ALMOST a week after the Agricultural and Commercial Show in Lusaka, workers were still grappling with tonnes of mainly plastic waste left behind by
show-goers and exhibitors.
And a check at the show-grounds on Friday revealed that some of the waste collected by Show Society of Zambia workers was gathered at a spot within the premises and burnt in a bonfire that left some trees charred, while some of it ended up in a landfill, contrary to local government regulations.
The action is also in contradiction to the theme under which the show was held, ‘Promoting a Green Economy’.
According to the Lusaka City Council, the Show Society had engaged the local authority to collect waste during and after the show, but wondered why some of the waste was burnt at the premises or ended up in a landfill.
The council said it would probe the matter.
Show Society of Zambia president Ben Shoko said he was not aware that some of the waste had been burnt within the show-grounds.
Meanwhile, one organisation is bound to make a small fortune out of the accumulated plastic waste at the show-grounds after collecting over seven tonnes of plastic bottles for recycling.
Manja Pamodzi, a community-based initiative, collects used plastic bottles which it later sells to Zambian Breweries for recycling.
The project is co-funded by Zambian Breweries (ZB) and the Millennium Challenge Account Zambia, and is also supported by the Lusaka City Council and Ministry of Local Government.
Last month, 105.58 tonnes of waste was recycled under the project, bringing the total to 2,507 tonnes since February 2015.
“As Zambian Breweries, we have been supporting a green economy through the Manja Pamodzi project.
The 91st agriculture show was an opportunity for Manja Pamodzi collectors and aggregators to help keep the show surrounding clean through the reduction of waste via collection of post-consumer plastics and aluminium cans,” said Ezekiel Sekele, who is corporate affairs director for the beverage company.
Manja Pamodzi had engaged 21 collectors at the show.
“As a business, Zambian Breweries is committed to ensuring that a clean environment exists and thereby enhancing a healthy and safe environment
This ultimately will contribute to productivity and growth of the economy,” said Mr Sekele.