Let’s protect waste collectors – PS

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:26:08 +0000

By LINDA SOKO TEMBO

GOVERNMENT will not allow waste collectors to pick solid waste from the Chunga dumpsite if they do not have protective clothing, Ministry of Water Development Sanitation and Environmental Protection Permanent Secretary, ED Chomba has said.

Speaking during a conducted tour of the Chunga dumpsite in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Chomba said government was aware that over 500 collectors depended on solid waste for their livelihood adding that authorities did not want people to be exposed to an environment which was a health hazard.

“As government we are not happy with Chungu dumpsite because it’s a threat to the health of our collectors we have to put things in place like legal framework is very important, government does not what to expose the people who are collecting the recyclable materials in a health hazard environment.

“What we are doing is ensuring that we put certain things in place that will help the collectors gather recyclable materials using protective clothing, said Dr. Chomba

He explained that there was no amount of money that could be valued compared to the health of a human being adding that government had a role to play ensuring that the life of the collectors and every citizen in the country was protected.

“ZEMA will continue supervising nobody will come and pick solid waste from Chunga dumpsite without protective clothing and it will not be the entire group that will be coming to collect waste, he said.

Dr Chomba said he was also happy to see the final product of what was been created out of the solid waste such as PVC pipes.

He also urged all processing companies to provide protective clothing to the collectors at the chunga dumpsite.

And ADIL investment Ltd, a processing company, donated 36 gloves to Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA)

so that they could give the gloves to the collectors at the dumpsite adding that more would be provided.

Meanwhile ZEMA Executive Director John Msimuko expressed happiness that government through the Ministry of water development sanitation and environmental protection, was supporting the process they had started years back of wanting to regulate expanded producer responsibility.

Mr Msimuko said that he was hopeful that with the support of the recycling industry once all regulations are put in place, the value chains in the recycling’s business will be supported.

He said the future was bright in the recycling industry adding that one of the reasons of the agency was not to burn the use of plastics completely but put the responsibly of plastics and other recyclable materials on companies that put solid waste on the market.

Mr Msimuko said that once the agency manages to put up regulations they would be able to support the recycle industry and create     jobs in the country.

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