CBOs and waste management
THE waste management challenge calls for a holistic approach in which everyone should join hands and take corrective action to reverse this unpleasant situation.
Impacts of poor waste management Waste impacts us in many ways; it affects human safety, wildlife, tourism and industrial development. The depletion of the ozone layer and emission of ‘green house’ gases mainly from waste burning threatens the survival of humans and thousands of other living species, the integrity of the earth and its biodiversity, and the heritage of future generations. Above all, it is costly to clean up the mess. Reducing waste in communities improves the environment and contributes to a better quality of life. How can communities be involved in waste
management? Communities are a key stakeholder in alleviating the waste management challenge. A waste generation study carried out in 2011 revealed that approximately 37 percent of waste generated in the country comes from residential areas hence the involvement of communities will yield a significant impact to the problem. Waste management at household level involves waste reduction, waste segregation, composting of biodegradables, waste reuse and cleaning up the environment. In some areas, communities have established waste management groups, commonly known as Health Clubs or Community Based Organisations (CBOs).
What are community based organisations? Community based organisations (CBOs) are community groups that are involved in environmental management projects. When the concept started, in the early 2000s, volunteers came together to do clean-up activities and awareness campaigns. With the realisation that there is ‘money in waste’ most groups are now earning a living from such projects. These groups are involved in waste separation and recovery of waste for recycling purposes, making of artefacts from various types of waste and composting. These groups’ activities do not only reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills but also sustains their livelihoods. Waste management has proved to be a viable livelihood option to some CBOs especially those that
R E T R E NC H M E N T packages form part of gross income and are subject to Income Tax like all other income. Definitions are into plastic recycling. Examples of these are Hlanzisizwe Community Based Organisation based in Tsholotsho. The Environmental Management Agency has registered over two hundred such groups countrywide.
Who can form a CBO? Community Based Organisations are made up of individuals who have passion for the environment and voluntarily come together with the same objective of managing their physical environment. EMA requires that these organisations be made up of at least 15 individuals including men, women, and youths drawn from the local community. However, various scenarios exist on the ground. Some groups are smaller, some have adopted these activities as entrepreneurial avenues, while others have actually moved from being community organisations to business units.
What is EMA’s role in CBO activities?
EMA having identified the potential that CBOs have in waste management has mobilised communities to partake in such activities. The agency’s role is to capacitate CBOs through training, provision of protective clothing, equipment and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) development.
EMA has also through a number of workshops created linkages with recycling companies, NGOs and other stakeholders whose activities affect CBO operations. CBO activities are closely monitored by the agency to ensure compliance to the law and safe handling of waste.
Environmental Facts, Tips and Updates are published weekly by the Environmental Management Agency. Send your feedback to; firstname.lastname@example.org, like us on facebook and twitter or visit our website www.ema.co.zw. Alternatively, call us on: Tel 04-305543 and Toll-free 08080028; or use our WhatsApp platform 0779565707. We are ready to listen.