BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
LOCAL authorities in the country have been failing to develop waste management plans and have continued to use traditional systems that have hindered effective service delivery, NewsDay has learnt.
As a result, most local authorities in the country are using old waste disposal systems that are labour intensive and do not separate litter for purposes of recycling.
In developed countries, litter is separated for recycling purposes as they have modern waste management policies and equipment.
Environmental Management Agency (Ema) Mashonaland West advocacy and education officer, Munyaradzi Nhariswa told NewsDay that most local authorities in the country are yet to adopt modern waste management policies.
“Urban and rural local authorities must prioritise waste management issues through separation of litter at source to enable effective recycling.
“They must also develop people-centred waste management plans through stakeholder engagement and construction of proper waste disposal facilities within their areas of jurisdiction,” Nhariswa said.
“Failure to come up with modern waste management policies results in unsustainably high volumes of waste being generated, resulting in local authorities failing to cope with waste.
“This has resulted in waste management systems that concentrate on collection and disposal, with very little attention being paid to promotion of recycling of waste.”
Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba said the major challenge affecting urban local authorities was that they did not have experienced professionals to craft modern waste management systems.
“This affects most local authorities in the country. Highly competent officials have reportedly been removed from waste management departments as they became stumbling blocks to the thieving cartels involved in waste removal vehicle spare parts.
“The waste removal department is highly contested in council systems,” Shumba said.
“Most local authorities have not yet adopted integrated solid waste management systems. This means that local authorities are using more money than they generate to provide essential services of managing waste.”