The Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Philda Kereng has said her ministry has finalised the Integrated Waste Management Policy.
Presenting the policy before parliament recently, Kereng highlighted that Botswana has experienced an increase in the generation of waste (solid and liquid) over the years mainly because of “population growth and industrialization, and exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Presently waste recovery initiatives in Botswana are limited to production of waste paper, bottles, plastics, scrap metal recovery and transportation of the same to countries such as South Africa where they are recycled.’
“Currently due to resource and technical limitations to undertake waste recovery initiatives, the most widely used option of managing waste is by depositing into landfills, which are already over-spilling,” she said.
Kereng said that the waste management policy is intended to create “a platform for integrated sustainable waste management through adequate planning and resourcing, improving waste regulation and governance and increased shared responsibility among stakeholders for the protection of public health and the environment”.
Among other things, she says this will improve sustainable waste management measures and will further safeguard public’s health and environmental protection.
The minister also indicated that the policy will have significant economic benefits as it will provide opportunities for waste-based enterprises that will improve the livelihoods of local communities.
“The Youth are highly innovative and given an opportunity and a conducive environment, they can provide local solutions to our waste management challenges and create the much-needed jobs and incomes through waste recovery and recycling,” she says adding that the exportation of recyclable waste to South Africa “creates jobs in that country which this Policy seeks to reverse and create jobs for locals.”