Malawi President Peter Mutharika and his deputy Saulos Chilima on Saturday demonstrated that they mean no rubbish leadership as they picked up brooms to sweep the streets of Lilongwe clean.
They exercise was in support of First Lady who launches her Gertrude Mutharika Beautify Malawi Trust (Beam) whose aim is to encourage Malawians to work towards making the country cleaner and healthier.
The trust would envision increased access to participatory and improved sanitation and sustainable community management of waste and waste facilities.
According to Madam Mutharika, waste collection levels in Malawi were still low, hence, triggering widespread illegal open dumping and backyard incineration.
“This has created negative environmental impacts and increased health risk of residents,” noted Mutharika who is the trust’s patron and board chairperson.
She said open waste dumps were primary breeding sites for mosquitoes, houseflies, rodents and other vectors of communicable diseases such as fever, diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery and malaria.
“Loose papers and plastics that are blown by wind result in an aesthetic intrusion of the surrounding environment. Children are the most affected both in the present and future times.
“At this juncture, I would categorically want to state my commitment to restoring Malawi’s lost beauty by, among other things, encouraging good refuse management and waste recycling,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika appointed presidential chief economic adviser Dr. Collins Magalasi as vice board chairperson of the trust.