By Donald Nyarota
THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has partnered Mutare City Council to come up with a sustainable solution to solid waste management challenges after it condemned the city’s dumpsite.
EMA condemned the local authority’s dumpsite in Darlington and penalized Mutare City Council for continuing to use it.
At the time of writing of this story, the council management was grappling with ways to raise the US$1 million needed for a new solid waste landfill.
Mutare city recently reviewed its Local Environment Action Plan (LEAP), with EMA where the landfill project headlining the city’s Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan was crafted in line with the National solid waste management plan.
Health services director, Dr Anthony Mutara, addressing delegates at a review workshop, said the authority was taking a multi-stakeholder consultation approach to come up with ways of implementing the plan at minimum cost.
He said an environmental impact assessment for the solid waste landfill site in Gimboki has already been carried out.
“For a city this big, we would need about US$1 million to come up with a standard solid waste landfill but such funds will not be easy to come by. This is why we are engaging partners who will come on board to assist with technical expertise to reduce the cost,” he said.
Dr Mutara said the five-year plan was part of the City’s long term initiatives towards a smart city and achieving a middle-income economy by 2030.
“The 2030 middle-income economy requires us to put in place the building blocks to get there. We cannot be talking of middle-income economy when we are still indiscriminately dumping waste.
“This plan speaks to that movement towards achieving the government’s objectives,” Dr Mutara said.
Mutare is reviewing its LEAP to come up with sustainable solutions to other environmental challenges that will arise with the growth of the city.
EMA principal environmental officer, Precious Magwaza, said Mutare was one of the cities doing fairly well on solid waste management and now needed to step up efforts to make it more sustainable.
“As EMA we have developed a national integrated solid waste management action plan which is a holistic plan to say waste management is everyone’s business,” she said.
“We are now calling on local authorities to adopt it and develop their own local level plans that are alive to the national plan for sustainable waste management in the country.”
Magwaza said the solid waste management plan and the LEAP would complement the national clean-up campaign on issues of waste separation at source, recycling and waste energy.
“We are running the ‘beyond the broom’ programme to say it shouldn’t just be about the collection of waste, which is what Mutare city is already doing. We want to see what other sustainable solutions we can put in place,” Magwaza said.