Environ-Care Malawi (ECM), a non-governmental organization passionate about environmental management, has hailed the Lilongwe City Council (LCC) for the mega-waste collection campaign the Council has embarked on in the city.
ECM Executive Director, Tandu Chisuse Somanje, said in an interview on Wednesday it was commendable that the Council had stood above all its challenges and heeded to the concerns of citizens whose lives were at risk with the accumulating refuse in the city.
Following the media’s recent reports on high accumulation of waste in the city’s markets, streets and residential areas, the LCC hired tippers and front loaders from the Plant Vehicle Hiring and Engineering Services (PVHES) to help clearing the garbage in the said sites.
As of March 9, the Council’s own vehicles and the hired tippers and front loaders had cleared refuse at Kawale 1, Kaliyeka, Mchesi, Mwenyekondo, Bwandiro and Tsoka Flea Market, according to Thoko Mkaka, Assistant Director of Health responsible for cleansing services.
He had briefed journalists at the onset of the campaign that hiring PVHES was the only option as the Council had always been handicapped due to inadequate refuse collection equipment such as compactors, skips and bins.
But while commending the LCC for the effort the ECM Executive Director has appealed to the Council to explore other avenues to ensure uninterrupted collection of refuse in the city.
“We really appreciate the move by Lilongwe City Council to clear waste from designated areas which had turned into recipe for cholera,” Somanje said, adding: “We just hope this isn’t just a public relations stunt but an activity that’ll be sustainable.
“The Council should first and foremost consider our wellbeing because cholera is a killer and it’s our lives and those of our children at stake.”
He added that waste management should not only take place at market places but also in residential areas and critical institutions such as Hospitals and Schools.
Recently, the LCC admitted that its capacity in refuse management was failing to match the demand created by the growing population in the city which is estimated at 1 million during the day and 700,000 during the night.
The Council has on several occasions appealed to local and international stakeholders to partner with it in ensuring that the city is clean and healthy and that refuse and garbage collection is done on a daily basis in all residential areas and the council’s 41 markets.
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