‘We have to reduce our waste’: Kazapua

Dumping rubbish in landfills not only threatens the environment, but is a huge waste of money and a lost opportunity.

09 June 2021 | Environment

NAMPA

LÜDERITZ

It is important for local authorities to move to a circular economy to reduce waste going to landfills, Namibia Green Towns facilitator Lydia Kandetu Kazapua has said.

Kazapua said at a meeting on Monday that many local authorities pay between N$900 and N$1 400 for refuse bins, plus other costs such as fuel for rubbish trucks and labour to have their waste dumped, in the process polluting their own environment.

“First of all, local authorities are buying these bins in South Africa and all that money goes there, denying the youth and local small business opportunities.

“You pay for your waste to be dumped, you spend so much money to get waste dumped, after all these costs you come and pollute the only resources you have. It becomes a risk to animals and humans living at these dumpsites,” she said.

Kazapua added that population growth, urbanisation, increase of economic activities, growth of informal settlements and lack of policy in place are factors influencing waste management.

Waste not, want not

“Our mission is to end waste to landfill and to end hunger through horticulture, we have to come to a place where we reduce, reuse, recycle and reuse our waste. About 40 to 60 percent of household waste is food waste and such waste can be composted and used to fertilise the soil for horticulture purposes,” she said.

Kazapua further said waste management can lead to green jobs that are environmentally friendly and do not require qualifications.

“These opportunities are there and can be utilised, especially after Covid-19 as many people have lost their jobs. Waste management is also an opportunity for small business. The youth can innovate things such as sorting bins; they have been denied the opportunity to innovate so we need to create that platform where they can innovate,” Kazapua added.

Create jobs

Namibia Green Towns was launched in July last year and is a platform for local authorities to move from a linear to circular economy.

The towns involved in this project are Oranjemund, Lüderitz, Tsumeb, Gobabis, Witvlei, Stampriet and Khorixas.

Lüderitz town council CEO Reinhardt Ochs urged the youth at the town to take ownership of the green town programme to create jobs for themselves and make a living.

“The youth should be at the forefront of this project as it is a youth project, and we should understand that some projects are for the long run; results don’t come immediately.

T’his project is important for our town as we have people living at our dumpsite, it is very unhygienic so if we can reuse or recycle that waste to provide for those ones living there, it would be a great thing to do,” he said.

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