Lilongwe — Lilongwe City produces over 250 metric tonnes of waste per day which may be a serious health hazard to residents if the waste is not well managed.
According to Lilongwe City Council Chief Executive, John Chome,the city council faces a lot of challenges regarding disposal of the waste, saying management of the dump area has been a hassle.
Speaking on the sidelines of the handover ceremony of three waste skips and 105 segregation bins from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining under the Integrated Waste Management Project in the city Tuesday, Chome said the donation would make a difference in waste management in markets and other densely populated places.
"For the waste bins, they are going to be distributed in schools and health facilities in the city, which will ensure that waste is generated and managed properly," said Chome.
Chief Director for Environment and Climate Management in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Oliver Kumbambe said Malawi experiences a number of environmental problems, some of which are directly linked to poor waste management.
He said the ministry is therefore working to support the councils in the management of both solid and liquid waste, especially in major cities.
According to Kumbambe, solid waste collection rate in the cities is currently around 30 per cent, implying that a staggering 70 per cent of waste lies unmanaged and is disposed of in undesignated places which increases the risk, frequency and severity of flooding which damages infrastructure, disrupts productivity and harms human health.
"It is for this reason that the ministry secured funds to support implementation of the Integrated Waste Management Project in the cities of the country upon realizing that city councils alone cannot win the battle against poor waste management," said Kumbambe.
Currently, Lilongwe City Council has only four refuse vehicles which Kumbambe said are not enough and appealed to stakeholders for more support.