Turning litter into livelihoods: Wazara

Besides helping maintain a clean and green environment, litter recycling and other forms of waste management are lucrative sources of income, according to Zimbabwe waste management ambassador and managing director of Plastix Incorporated Company, Mary Wazara.

Mary Wazara: Litter and waste management are a source of livelihood.
Mary Wazara: Litter and waste management are a source of livelihood.

Wazara told The Zimbabwean in an exclusive interview at an Anglican Church clean-up exercise in Avondale that people should regard litter as a source of livelihood, since it can be recycled to generate wealth.

The soft-spoken entrepreneur said the best thing she had ever done in her life was to pick up litter for recycling and become the country’s ambassador.

“For me to be Zimbabwe ambassador for waste management is quite an honour and responsibility. I am at the forefront of a campaign towards a clean Zimbabwe, which recycles litter as a way of empowering its people,” she said. She urged Zimbabweans to “go green and look after the environment for future generations”.

There was optimism, she said, that Zimbabwe would turn itself into a litter-free country soon, given the clean-up initiative by Anglican Church youths and like-minded citizens.

Wazara has a vision to expand her business activities into the region and empower youths through litter recycling.

Plastix Incorporated Company, which was formed in 2010, employs 16 permanent workers and, according to Wazara, has the capacity to convert nine to 90 tonnes of waste plastic into finished products each day.

The added benefit is that Zimbabwe benefits from locally made rather than imported plastic products.

Speaking at the clean-up exercise, the Anglican bishop of Harare, Chad Gandiya, said his church wanted everyone to take action towards a green and clean environment.

“I encourage all churches to take some of the 32,000 colour-coded plastic bins donated by Environment Africa, and join the fight against litter,” Gandiya said.

He urged all churches to embrace the Green Church Movement coordinated by Environment Africa and be part of the fight against a littered and polluted environment. He also encouraged government and local authorities to enforce laws against littering.

The minister of environment, water and climate, Saviour Kasukuwere, who was the guest speaker said Anglicans had taken a commendable stance in promoting sustainable waste management practices. He said the event was well timed as it would awaken communities to good waste management behaviors ahead of the rainy season when mango, mealies and mazhanje residue usually clogged drainage systems. He told the gathering that the waste management challenge needed the participation of everyone and a change of attitude.

“As individuals, churches, companies and institutions let us not discard, dump or leave litter at undesignated places as this creates breeding places for flies, mosquitoes and rodents,” Kasukuwere said.

He also noted the benefits that could be derived from sustainable waste management, such as organic manure made from waste. He urged households to reduce the amount of food waste and re-use or recycle waste such as metal, paper and plastic.

The minister said there were families across the country that had positively transformed their livelihoods through waste recycling.

Post published in: News

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