CBOs and waste man­age­ment

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

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; eep@ema.co.zw, 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.

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