Mzuzu City Council to export waste to South Africa

The Mzuzu City Council has unveiled plans to export valued added waste to Durban, South Africa during the official launch of a MK700 million Peri-Urban Sanitation and Hygiene Project (PUSH) aimed at increasing sanitation coverage through the provision of basic sanitation infrastructure and hygiene promotion.

The Council said it has received demands for a certain kind of waste but did not disclose.

Under the ambitious pilot project the Council will procure 80 new waste skips and the city and communities will be required to grade their waste before dumping into the skips. At each point, there will be one for organic, plastics and glass.

This will be the first time in Malawi for residents to grade or recycle and reuse their waste.

Mzuzu to export waste
Mzuzu to export waste

Apart from that, Mzuzu City will have a new waste dump-site that will be linked to a newly constructed solid waste management facility to facilitate the re-use, recycling and then value chains for different type of wastes.

The Council’s Chief,  Thomas Chirwa disclosed this on the sidelines of the launch of the European Union funded four-year PUSH project that took place at St John of God in Mzuzu on Saturday.

“Mzuzu is facing major challenges in terms of waste management due to its ever growing population. Apart from that, it has a dysfunctional sewage system, problems with vending and lack resources to effectively manage waste both liquid and solid,” Chirwa said.

Mzuzu City spends MK500,000 per week in waste disposal.

The PUSH project, which will run from March 2013 to 2017, is a brainchild of the Mzuzu City Council, Plan Malawi as a lead implementer and Circle for Integrated Community Development (CICOD).

Chirwa said upon project completion, open defecation and urination would be outdated.

“The EU grant is timely and we would want to assure the EU and the Malawi government that we are committed to the project and we will ensure that it succeeds so that it could replicated elsewhere in the country,” the Council Chief said.

Dubbed the first of its kind in Malawi, Mzuzu City Council and its partner organizations, Plan Malawi and CICOD will also run campaigns in the targeted informal settlements of Chibavi, Masasa, Mchengautuwa, Chiputula, Zolozolo and Luwinga to promote waste reduction and encourage communities to re-use,  and recycle waste.

Mzuzu City Council Director of Health Lillian Chirwa said the City still has one dumpsite that has been in use the 1980s and people have since encroached it.

“Many households in the peri- urban areas use pit latrines and have no access to portable water, yet most parts are water logged. People are not conscious about waste disposals saying even the use of dustbins is a challenge,” Chirwa said.

Political officer of the European Union Delegation to Malawi James Dolan said the EU was pleased to witness the launch of the project in one of the cities where residents in the peri-urban areas endure persistent challenges.

“It is my hope that the project will alleviate some of these challenges by improving households and overall environment sanitation. It is also my hope that the beneficiaries will look after these facilities well, so that their benefit will be felt for a long time at an affordable cost,” Dolan said.

He said a critical role is also envisaged for the local authorities by enhancing their capacities to monitor the activities on the private sector providers of the sanitation services.

“The EU will continue to partner the Malawi government, NGOs and other interested players in the water and sanitation sector to invest in the construction of facilities and building capacity of operators and regulators to improve service delivery,” Dolan said.

He then announced that the EU has put aside an additional 24 million Euros (MK13 billion) for additional intervention in the water and sanitation sectors.

“The big proportion of these funds will be used for rural water supply and sanitation in 15 districts and the balance will be used by various NGOs for water supply and sanitation in peri-urban areas of seven cities and towns,” Dolan said.

He reiterated that all these efforts were a reflection of the EU’s commitment to sustainable development and health by adopting a holistic approach to economic and social development in Malawi.

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