Inclusivity key to preserving environment – Dr Nhubu
By Edward Mukaro
THE Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (ISWMP)’s success has been noted through the proclamation of every first Friday of the month as a national clean-up day; however, issues on inclusivity remain a major concern, post doctoral researcher, Dr Trust Nhubu has said.
Speaking in an interview after the Energy Generation And GHG Emission Reduction Potential From Municipal Solid Waste Generated In Zimbabwe Workshop, Dr Nhubu implored stakeholders and the general public to complement efforts to keep the environment a safe place and not politicize beneficial initiatives.
“Issues around stakeholder participation and buy-in remain largely a challenge as not many people are involved in the national clean-up day.
“The politics around the national clean-up day needs to be addressed as some view it from a political perspective and not from an environmental perspective.
“The other issue that is of major interest has been the increase in community structures and groups that have been established since the coming into effect of the plan. This is a good initiative with several citizens drop-off centres for collection of recyclable materials having been established in communities, especially in High-Density suburbs,” said Dr Nhubu.
Solid waste management is one of the most pressing environmental issues confronting urban local authorities and growth points throughout Zimbabwe.
An estimation of over 1.6 million tonnes of waste is generated in Zimbabwe annually. This figure is expected to surpass 5 million tonnes by 2030 due to population increase and high consumerism as the economy and industrial production expands.
He added that the plan has not yet achieved its desired goals given the state of waste retention and called for a review.
“The plan, however, has largely failed to meet most of its goals and targets.
“A review process needs to be undertaken of the plan and new targets set with a commitment to their implementation being made.”
Commenting on the recycling of waste, Dr Nhubu implored authorities to be inclusive and allow the private sector to play a big role rather than the current setup.
“Putting in place systems that involve every stakeholder and ease of entry of private sector in waste management is largely a responsibility of local authorities,” he said.
Most Urban Local Authorities in Zimbabwe are still using the traditional closed solid waste management system due to the slow implementation of the ISWMP.
Waste generation is on the rise due to rapid urbanization but levels of collection are deteriorating with only 52% being collected.
Littering by the public, from cars, buses and commuter omnibuses has also become a menace.
Most councils have no proper solid waste management plans and infrastructure in place despite the expansion of urban centres.
Widespread littering, proliferation of illegal dumps, non-collection of waste and poor waste management at disposal sites are still persistent in most urban local authorities.