5 October 2017

Cameroon: Plastic Waste - 150 Tons Collected in Five Years

Stakeholders in the sector are yet to come up with a viable waste management strategy.

In five years some 150 tons of plastic waste have been collected in the cities of Douala and Yaounde of which 120 tons (80 per cent) have been recycled. Although this figure is significant much still needs to be done as waste continues to accumulate on a disturbing proportion in the two cities. "We want to associate other stakeholders like GICAM, quarter heads, etc in order that we can meet up with our envisioned 10,000 tons collected every year beginning from 2017," the General Manager of RED-PLAST, Rodrique Ngonde, disclosed at the GICAM headquarters in Douala, September 26, during the 5th anniversary of RED-PLAST that held under the theme: "Waste Management in Cameroon: Stakes and Challenges." Already, waste collected is recycled into useful objects of great economic value including interlocking tiles, baked roofing tiles, tables, chairs and shoes. It is also recycled to produce tires, plastic bags and biogas is used as a source of electricity. He warned that plastic waste dropped just anywhere end up blocking gutters, affect soil fertility and are, above all, remain non-degradable in the soil. Acknowledging that they have not yet found a viable strategy for waste management, he noted that they are exchanging with other partners in view of coming up with one. The waste collected is transported mainly on trucks, tricycles and bicycles. Yet increasing collection has proved to be a major challenge due to limited funds reasons why waste continues to accumulate in the cities on a daily basis. "From Cameroon's waste management strategy for 2007-2015 with the objective to improve lives was developed three priorities: prevention, valorisation and elimination. The vision is to limit plastic waste (plastic bags) to about 30 per cent by 2035," according to an official of the Regional Delegation of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development in Douala. Aboubakar Njikam, Inspector General in the Governor's Office, presided over the event that was attended by civil society organisations, waste management associations, the business community and environmentalists.

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