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UN-Habitat calls for wide support to address increasing waste challenges

By on 05/28/2019

Speakers at the Press Conference on Waste Wise Cities on the sidelines of UN-Habitat’s first Asssembly

NAIROBI, 28 May 2019 – UN-Habitat has made a call to all governments, regional and city authorities to join its Waste Wise Cities campaign.

The campaign, which was launched during World Habitat Day by Ms. Maimunah Mohd Shariff on October 1 2018, aims at supporting cities identify gaps in their treatment of rubbish as well as finding interventions that suit the needs of each city.

Nearly 70 cities have signed up to the Waste Wise Cities campaign which is focusing on four key action areas namely knowledge, good practices sharing; waste data and monitoring; advocacy; project development and financing.

The disposal of waste accounts for a large portion of the local government budget and affects public health. Poor solid waste collection and disposal results in uncontrolled dump sites and waste burning resulting in pollution. A change in public attitudes to minimize waste and stop littering, the regularisation of informal waste pickers, increased recycling and reusing, sufficient funding and solid waste planning including adequate landfill sites, can help cities to improve the current state of solid waste management and save money to become ‘Waste Wise Cities’

“We are glad that we joined the Waste Wise Cities campaign and on 25 May we held ca lean-up in Kisii town,” said Dr. Skitter Mbugua who is on the Executive Committee for Energy, Water and Environment and Natural Resources for Kisii Count, Kenyay.”. UN-Habitat has worked with Kisii County in improving waste management and together we have developed a waste management strategy for the county and we have a waste recycling plant through a pilot project. We have 25 youth who are working at this recycling centre, they sort out waste and recycle plastics and mould them into usable containers.”

Mr. Przekek Pyziel of Planet Heroes which says it is creating world’s first eco-crowdfunding platform said: “We raise money using internet campaigns to support communities that are determined and working hard to make a difference. We join hands to support waste wise cities and we shall promote the campaign.”

The Waste Wise Cities campaign also ties up with partners such as Planet Heroes,. By matching Community Based Organizations and waste management entrepreneurs who are actively engaged in cleaning cities or recycling on the ground, they will receive financial support for their work from the Patrons, who will directly fund environmental activities online.

Globally 2 billion people do not have access to municipal solid waste collection services and 3 billion people lack access to controlled waste disposal facilities. If not addressed now, dumpsites will produce eight to ten per cent of the global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

”We looked at challenges affecting our community including frequent Cholera outbreaks, as youths in the informal settlement of Mathare we decided to find a solution for waste management. We collect Ksh.50 per month from each household. We offer the households gunny bags for them to put their waste and we collect and take to designated places. This has also created employment to the youths,” said Isaac Muasa Chair Mathare Environment Conservation Youth group in Kenya and UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour winner.

“UN-Habitat would like to thank all the 70 cities and local governments who have joined the Waste Wise Cities and committed to the campaign’s principles for sustainable waste management. We expect many more cities and local Governments to join during this week,” said Mr. Andre Dzikus, Coordinator of UN-Habitat’s Urban Basic Services Branch.

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