State Vice President, Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC) on Friday took the National Clean-up Day initiative to Blantyre City and has called for collective action in cleaning the country to make Malawi a better place to live.
Chilima launched the Clean Up Initiative for Blantyre City at Nyambadwe Primary School, saying waste management has become a huge challenge especially in towns, major trading centres, market centres and even in people’s homes.
The campaign urges Malawians to sweep and clean their homes, workplaces and other community surroundings ever y second Friday in a month.
“Statistically, on average Malawi generates an estimated 0.5 Kgs of waste per person per day, which translates to 633 fifteen-ton vehicles of waste being produced every day.
“In cities the problem is even worse. For example, Lilongwe City alone generates about 500 metric tons of waste (33 fifteen tone lorries) per day while Blantyre City produces about 450 tons of waste (30 fifteen tonne lorries) per day,” pointed out Chilima
He said given the prevailing poor waste management in the country, such statistics remain a “matter of grave concern.”
The country’s second-in-command, observed that Malawi cannot be called a safest place to live if people are not cleaning places where they live and manage waste to prevent outbreak of diseases such as diarrhea and cholera.
He urged citizens to avoid littering anyhow.
“Let us all embrace this exercise. Let us clean our surroundings. Let us avoid littering anyhow. As they say, cleanliness is next to godliness,” said Chilima.
He said government is encouraging every person regardless of their political, social or cultural affiliations to take the responsibility of ensuring that their surroundings like homes, schools and hospitals are cleaned up,.
Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, said the development is the only way of preventing diseases like cholera thereby saving money which would have been used to treat such diseases.
The Veep then advised the general public to remain patient on promises which Tonse Alliance made during June’ fresh presidential elections campaign.
“I know, we promised creation of one million jobs for the youth, provision of soft loans and reduction in passport fees among others. But I urge you to be at ease because different mechanisms are being put in place to make these a reality,” he said.
In his remarks, Member of Parliament for Ndirande Malabada Constituency, Ismail Nkumba, of United Democratic Front (UDF) thanked Chilima for gracing the launch of the initiative in the area pledging, concerted efforts to keep the surrounding clean.
“I believe cleaning up the area is a collective responsibility of everyone. As such, we will make sure that we spearhead the initiative at all places to promote health well-being of the communities,” he said.
Mayor for Blantyre City, Wild Ndipo, emphasized that it is only healthy people who can meaningfully participate in the development of any country including Malawi.
He, therefore, assured the gathering that the initiative will not die a natural death.
Earlier on, the Vice President accompanied by other distinguished dignitaries participated in a cleaning exercise at Ndirande Post Office and also toured pavilions for waste recyclers and re-users.
President Lazarus Chakwera launched national Clean Up Campaign on Wednesday in Lilongwe under the theme “A Clean Environment: My Right, My Responsibility”.
Environmental consultant Robert Kawiya, Movement for Environmental Action (MFEA) interim leader Matthews Malata, Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (Cepa) programme manager Gloria Kamoto and Parliamentary Committee for Natural Resources and Climate Change chairperson Werani Chilenga has since welcomed the campaign, but stressed that industrial pollution should be tackled. – Additional reporting by Memory Chatonda, ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :