ARTHUR MWANSA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has embarked on the process of establishing energy production from solid waste, Minister of Local Government Vincent
Mwale has said.
Mr Mwale said this would be done through a public-private partnership (PPP) system in Lusaka, and will be scaled up on the Copperbelt where a feasibility study is being undertaken by a Finnish developer.
He said local authorities, and the nation at large, also stand to benefit from recycling of waste through job creation and conservation of non-renewable resources.
Mr Mwale said this yesterday in a speech read for him by Ministry of Local Government permanent secretary Amos Malupenga at the solid waste management symposium under the theme: “Moving from waste management to resource management within a circular economy.”
Mr Mwale, who is also Chipangali member of Parliament (MP), is happy that the country is making progress in developing waste management policies and strategies.
“Indeed, the use of economic instruments and implementation of polluter-pays principles in waste management are yet to be fully realised in Zambia,” he said.
Mr Mwale said the gap between existing legislation and actual waste management practices is widening due to continuing capacity constraints and lack of waste management facilities for various waste streams.
“It is for this reason that resource-efficient and cleaner production has become a feasible best practice for reducing waste to bring waste management into the circular economy,” he said.
Mr Mwale reiterated Government’s commitment to use the project to transform waste into a resource.
He said the growing challenge of waste management has been due to rapid growth in economic activity and population, as well as the increasing burden on municipal budgets.
Mr Mwale said waste management practices and widespread dumping of waste in drainage systems and open spaces aggravate the problems of low sanitation levels in the country.
He said as a result, some communities, especially in peri-urban areas, have continued to experience increased cases of preventable diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid.