Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Honorable Gary Nkombo says the standing government bodies are aimed at promoting waste hierarchy and circular economy principles in line with achieving both socio-economic benefits and reduction of negative environmental impacts.
The Minister said the New Dawn Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia, recognizes the importance of maintaining the environment and has since established the Ministry of Environment and Green Economy.
He said this during the First National Symposium for Waste Pickers And Plastic Pollution held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre today in a speech read on his behalf by the Acting Local Government and Rural Development Permanent Secretary , Mr. Kasonde Mwila .
“The Government fully understands and appreciates that the green and waste management sector has strong potential to innovate and improve socio-economic conditions and equally contribute to sustainable development and resources .” He added .
He stated that the ever-growing human population and increasing living standards of people and industrialization have led to an increase in waste generation and lack of sufficient waste disposal facilities.
The Minister furthermore acknowledged that waste disposal has been a major challenge in our country and needs to be addressed through proactive concerted efforts .
“We are aware of the alarming impact of waste on our immediate and global environment and this problem has given citizens and the Government a platform to look for solutions by involving the society and private sectors in order to ensure that we find ways to strategically manage waste.” He explained.
The Minister also mentioned that the government will initiate deliberate policies that will help curb behavioral changes and raising people’s consciousness about the environment.
He additionally stated that there is great need for Cities and Municipalities to strengthen their capacities in technology, finance and institutional arrangements in order to advance waste management infrastructure and services in the context of realizing resource efficient and zero waste societies.
The Minister collectively stated that the Ministry has an open door policy to collaborate with all stakeholders and the society in the smart handling of waste and compliance promotion at local government level.
He further observed that monitoring and evaluation of municipal waste management needs to be revised and addressed with collective efforts to bring the necessary change the country needs.
The Minister conclusively added that poor performance and non-compliance of both the society and waste management companies will be called out and corrective action will be taken were needed.
He also expressed that the promotion of waste hierarchy and circular economy principles is a permanent investment with an aim to achieve prosperity for many − now and in generations to come; without burdening the environment and health of the people .