‘Build capacity of local authorities to handle solid waste’

29 Mar, 2022 - 00:03 0 Views
‘Build capacity of local authorities to handle solid waste’ Mr Brian Dube

The Herald

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday challenged the central government to build the capacity of local authorities countrywide so that they maybe able to improve on service delivery, especially on the management of solid waste issues.

The PAC Committee is currently conducting verification visits on Solid Waste Management by Local Authorities, based on the Auditor General’s Report of 2018.

After inspecting progress on the Beitbridge Municipality’s compliance project yesterday, committee chairman, Mr Brian Dube, said according to the report most local authorities were struggling to meet standard requirements in terms of solid waste management.

He said from interaction with Local Authorities (LAs) it was apparent that the councils with their low revenue streams, cannot manage to construct high capital infrastructural developments including standard engineered landfills.

It is understood that it costs at least US$500 000 to construct a standard cell of an engineered landfill.

“We have also noted with concern the delays by the Ministry of Local Government in approving the necessary legal instruments (by-laws) to capacitate local authorities to enforce environmentally friendly laws among others,” said Mr Dube.

“After we conclude our verifications, we will then sit down and draft a report and recommendations on how to deal with the Ministry of Local Government.

“Additionally, you will note that although progress has been made in compliance with the Auditor General’s 2018 reports, there are still some grey areas, which need the central government and the corporate world to step in and help these councils”.

The legislator said with respect to the Beitbridge Municipality they had made remarkable progress in terms of addressing the refuse collection, procurement of equipment, community engagement ad the corporate world.

He said the council was still waiting in vain for feedback from its parent Ministry (Local Government) concerning the pending approval of 14 by-laws, eight of which are related to the environment, health, natural resources, and solid waste management.

Then approval of the Natural Resources, Meat, Hawkers and Vendors, Licensed Premises, Anti-Litter, Protection of Lands and Natural Resources, the Human Excreta and Dangerous Substances by-laws have been outstanding since 7 August 2020.

Mr Dube said the major objective of the verification tour was to ensure that the country minimizes the negative externalities associated with poor waste management under the various LAs.

“The Auditor General’s report (2018) indicates that there were no plans (in Beitbridge) at that time towards recycling, and to deal with waste management in high traffic areas,” he said.

The committee also encouraged the local authorities to use devolution funds to improve service delivery issues in their areas of jurisdiction.

He said the local authorities must not engage in wasteful and useless expenditure at the expense of providing people-centred service delivery.

“At times their activities leave one wondering if they really lack resources or it’s an issue of lack of intention,” said Mr Dube.

Beitbridge’s Environmental Health Officer, Mr Pio Muchena, said the local authority had started complying with some of the issues contained in the report.

He said they had increased their refuse collection fleet, created ward waste management committees and clubs, erected over 150 refuse bins along the major highway and key roads, and that they have since identified two areas to house a temporary dumpsite and a standard engineered landfill.

Share This:

Sponsored Links