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MPs urge govt to support local authorities

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BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA

CHAIRPERSON of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local government Miriam Chikukwa (Zanu PF) has urged government to support local authorities financially so that they effectively carry out their mandate.

Chikukwa said this in Parliament while presenting a report on the state of waste management around Zimbabwe.

She said local authorities were facing challenges such as lack of standard landfills due budgetary constraints and failure by Environmental Management Agency (Ema) to provide the required specifications for such a facility.

She said most local authorities were constrained to be able to construct proper dumpsites and landfills, resulting in them resorting to makeshift dumpsites.

Lack of foreign currency, she lamented, obsolete equipment, rapid urbanisation and lack of upgraded waste management infrastructure were challenges bedevilling most local authorities. “Local authorities should be given relative autonomy by the Local Government and Public Works ministry in the procurement of their equipment and machinery which must be in line with their submitted specifications by December 2021,” Chikukwa said.

“Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministry should ensure that fines collected by Ema in relation to non-compliance with the Act in terms of waste management should be directed towards supporting local authorities to manage their waste by January 2022”

Chikukwa said government should explore the possibility of generating energy from waste by December 2022.

“Ema must ensure that all local authorities are provided with layout plans for the engineered landfills by December 2021,” she said.

“Local authorities must provide at least three bins for each household to encourage separation of waste at source by December 2021.

There is need for local authorities to be supported financially through loans and public sector investment programmes or to engage in public-private partnerships to enable them to develop engineered landfills and to buy adequate equipment for waste management by June 2022.”

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