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Scores of people today joined the National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) and other stakeholders to take action against waste management in celebrating World Cleanup Day.

World Cleanup Day is an annual global event that attracts thousands of participants from over 180 countries globally in cleaning the environment.

The theme for this year's event was ' We Are Smart.'

NOCZ joined the global cause against waste and plastic pollution by organizing clean-up activities in Lusaka, Kabwe, and Kitwe respectively.

Speaking when giving his remarks at the OYDC Zambia – Sports Development Centre, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Honourable Gary Nkombo who was Guest of Honor said his government is committed to championing the concept of keeping Zambia clean, green and healthy by emphasizing behavior change communication, integrated solid waste management and community participation for better health outcomes.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Hon Gary Nkombo (fourth from left) during the cleanup exercise

Hon. Nkombo said his ministry will work closely with the newly formed Ministry of Green Economy and Environment in creating an enabling environment for innovation in ensuring that solid waste is used as raw material.

Meanwhile, NOCZ President Alfred Foloko emphasized the need to take action against waste management and waste pollution.

Mr. Foloko said the creation of the new ministry presents the country with an enormous opportunity to aggressively address issues that affect the environment and people's livelihoods.

" We must leverage on this opportunity to finding solutions to climate change and environmental sustainability to help us create sustainable cities and communities," he said.
NOCZ President Alfred Foloko addressing the Media during the cleanup exercise

Mr. Foloko called on local authorities, civil society organizations, the private sector, and the general public to assume responsibility in order to promote an effective and sustainable waste management system.

And the Citizens Environmental and Social Concern (CESCO) Executive Director, Conwell Hakapya said unless there is a systematic change that leads to a resolution of waste generation, efforts to clean up waste will be futile.

He expressed concern that the environmental management extended producer responsibility regulation ( EPR) S.I No 65 of 2018 has not served its intended purpose.

Mr. Hakapya said the only responsibility the S.I has extended is by making citizens buy plastic bags while retail chain stores make profits at the expense of the environment.

CESCO Executive Director Conwell Hakapya giving his remarks earlier today

He has since called upon the government to increase budgetary allocation towards the environment in the 2022 national budget and to repeal the extended producer responsibility of S.I 65 of 2018 and institute a new statutory instrument that compels manufacturers to assume responsibility for their non-biodegradable plastic packaging.

Cleanup activities in Lusaka attracted participants from Lusaka City Council, CESCO, Action Aid, Global Platform Zambia, OYDC Zambia, and members of the public. As for Kitwe, NOCZ Vice President Hazel Kennedy, Board Member Susanna Dakik, and Her Worship the Mayor of Kitwe Mpasa Mwaya led the cleanup activities in Kitwe while Kwame Nkrumah University Team by Mayamba Sitali led the activities in Kabwe.

NOCZ Secretary-General Boniface Kambikambi, Treasurer Victor Banda, Board Member Dickson Jere, and NOCZ Medical Commission Chairperson Dr. Titus Fernando were also present at the World Cleanup Day Commemoration event in Lusaka.


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