Gaborone 03 June 2021, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism recently launched waste recovery pilot project in the government enclave, Gaborone. The event was part of the activities held to mark commemoration of World Environment Day which was held on the 5th of June 2021.
When giving keynote on the occasion to launch the waste recovery project in the government enclave the minister Of Environment, Natural Resource Conservation and Tourism Honorable Philda Kereng said the project is expected to create employment and develop a strong waste recycling industry in Botswana.
“Waste paper and other recyclable waste if properly segregated from other waste in our offices can provide opportunities for the establishment of small enterprises for reuse and recycling. Products that can be generated from waste paper recovery and reprocessing include the production of toilet paper, paper bags, paper cups and plates, ornaments, exercise books to mention but a few.”- Kereng
Minister Kereng alluded that currently the waste recovery initiatives in Botswana are limited to production of waste paper, bottles, plastics, scrap metal recovery and transportation of the same to neighbouring countries where there are waste recycling plants hence creating jobs in those countries. She said Botswana needed a deliberate policy initiative to empower other citizens to derive benefits from the waste sector.
The Minister also explained that the Botswana Cabinet approved the Integrated Waste Management Policy in April 2021. According to Kereng this policy seeks to promote deriving value out of waste through its value chain. Treating waste as valuable resource will not only lead to improving environmental aesthetic, but will also have significant economic benefits as it will provide opportunities for waste based enterprise that will improve the livelihoods of local communities. The youth are more innovative and given an opportunity and a conducive environment, they can provide local solutions to our waste management challenges.
Kereng also appealed to the private sector to come on board and actively participate in the waste recovery and recycling initiatives. She concluded by highlighting that the success of this pilot project will lead to the rollout to other institutions in our districts, towns and cities to make this a national programme.
The other objectives of waste paper segregation in the government enclave are:
• To create awareness on sustainable waste management practices.
• To encourage segregation at source at the workplace.
• To foster public, private sector collaboration on waste management.
• To test proof a concept on waste separation at source and circular economy.