Prime Projects in efforts of engaging organizations to adopt environmentally sustainable practices and the reduction of solid waste sent to landfills, launched the Zero Waste BW initiative. The initiative was launched in August followed by a successful symposium and an Eco-Couture fashion show on the 27th October at the Phakalane Golf Estate Hotel Resort. The official opening was done by Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA)’s Ruud Jansen. He said, “As you may all be aware, countries the world over are heeding to the call of adopting eco-friendly means of waste disposal. It then goes without saying, that today’s agenda, is in alignment with this global transition.” He also noted that this objective can only be achieved through the cooperation of the Public and Private sector so efforts such as the one by Zero Waste BW initiative, are of utmost importance and deserve full recognition. “I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of proper waste management and disposal. The wrong disposal of waste material not only poses a threat to human life, it endangers valuable habitats and biodiversity,” said Jansen. Prime Projects Managing Director, Akim Setswalo noted that that the youth and the country as a whole can benefit and earn a living from waste management especially through practices of separation of waste at source so that they can recycle and re-use the resources for their businesses.
When addressing participants at the symposium, the Director of Department of Waste Management and Pollution Control (DWMPC) Oarabile Serumola, advised members of the Public to adopt sustainable environmental measures by avoiding practices that have a negative impact on the environment. Serumola expressed her concerns with regards to the reckless disposal of waste in Botswana and advised that people desist from these activities or risk being criminally prosecuted. One of the international speakers, South African Local Government Association (SALGA)‘s Balanganani Nengovhela gave a preview on waste management in South African Municipalities and highlighted on the waste value chain which identified 3 main sources of waste generation as residential, commercial, and industrial and encouraged local municipalities/ councils to identify and put in place better strategies that provide for waste separation at source from all the various sources of waste.
Speaking on the South African experience in zero waste and resource efficiency and cleaner production methodologies, Regional Manager Victor Manavhela of the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPCSA) said, “There are so many opportunities that exist within this sector alone, the bridging of neighbouring countries through a platform such as this one could have an extremely positive impact on the continent and the world as a whole.” Namibia’s biggest waste management company Rent-A-Drum Managing Director, GysLouw advised Batswana to adopt sustainable policies and strategies that promote a green economy and shared their success stories as a waste management entity. The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), Chief Operations Officer Andrew Madeswi urged Batswana to make use of funding opportunities offered by CEDA to startup and grow their entities that either focus on or promote eco-friendly initiatives. ”Entrepreneurial support is crucial for waste management sector to develop,” noted Madeswi.
Further to that he mentioned that the ever increasing amounts of solid waste and population growth are a challenge to developing countries. He concluded by saying the private sector is required to assist through provision of integrated waste management systems, improving recycling practices and providing financial solutions. Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer, Tarah Shaanika highlighted the importance of unlocking business opportunities that exist in the waste management industry within Botswana and beyond.
This initiative is recognised on a global platform, which presents quite a lot of opportunities for expansion. On the evening of that same day, fashion designers who entered the Eco- Couture fashion show competition, showcased their creative designs made from recycled and re-used materials in support of the Zero Waste Initiative and competed for a cash prize of P10 000. The designers were to create outfits using waste, anything that could have been thrown away and the show was creatively directed by renowned fashion designer Mothusi Lesolle. The winners were Dantelee Fashion Creations which are a female duo from Kanye, Tsaone Ditselanyane and Virginia Kgomotso. The Best Model prize went to Segomotso Ramolefhe who walked away with a cash prize of P1000 and Make-Up Hamper of P2500 from Apple Craft Beauty Parlour’s Flori Roberts Make-Up Range. Local artists, Scar, ATI and Samba-T entertained the crowd with their music and electrifying performances. The after party was hosted at Cigar Lounge and local disc jockeys Chef Gustos, Kuchi and Piet Da Dj worked their magic on the decks.