President Lazarus Chakwera is expected to grace the official launch of the National Clean Up Day slated for 11th November, 2020 at Chinsapo ground in Lilongwe city, as a show of political will to issues of environment and providing solutions to waste challenges rocking the nation.
Meanwhile, a joint task team comprised of different players headed by Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources officials say preparatory work towards the official launch of the Malawi National Clean Up Day are progressing well.
Speaking during his special address on environment on 19th October, 2020 at State House in Lilongwe during his Weekly Brief. President Chakwera emphasized he was keen to see that the ban on thin plastics is fully implemented for Malawi to regain its lost environmental beauty. Thin plastics have become a major public challenge and eyesore to most Malawians as they are disposed wantonly in most locations.
Chakwera explained during his address. “This will take concerted effort by all stakeholders, from manufacturers of plastics, producers of environmentally friendly carrying and packaging materials, local authorities, and the general public. I call upon on all private business operators to find alternative carrier bags that are environmentally friendly.”
To encourage citizen participation in this campaign against thin plastic use and littering. President Chakwera announced that he will be launching a National Clean-up Day to be part of the solution, not the problem.
“I call upon every Malawian to participate in the National Clean-up Day once the day is designated. It is one way of fulfilling our pledge at a global level to undertake climate action for reduction of green – house gas emissions and transition to a low carbon pathway,” he announced to the nation during the address.
David Mkwambisi, Associate Professor of Environment and Development at the Malawi University of Science and Technology when asked for his reaction by AEJ Online advised that any problem that attracts the highest office on the land also attract greater citizen participation. He advised that it is time that all waste we have in this country is seen an opportunity. It is time that such waste are transformed into usable products as part of waste entrepreneurship.
*“I call upon every Malawian to participate in the National Clean-up Day once the day is designated. It is one way of fulfilling our pledge at a global level to undertake climate action for reduction of green – house gas emissions and transition to a low carbon pathway,” he announced to the nation during the address. **
“As a country, we can’t make informed decisions without data. We need data to make decisions on how much energy we can generate from waste including research. Furthermore, policy must make sure there is a link between waste transition to urban green infrastructure as an opportunity and this must involve a lot of youth participation,” Mkwambisi who has previously engaged in projects on waste management and entrepreneurship advised.
In the same vein, within the region, Rwanda is star as the country is implementing a similar initiative through the Umuganda camp cleanliness campaign which is translated as, “coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome.” To date, Rwanda has become one of the cleanest nations on earth and possibly the cleanest in Africa because of this ambitious environmental initiative which is held on last Saturdays of the month.
The rationale for designating a national clean-up day is to ensure a healthy environment for all Malawians as enshrined in the constitution. Cleanliness [cleaning, greening and beautifying] is vital for good health; but also, a clean neighbourhood has a better value for money, helps create positive environment and brings fresh air for those living in it says the Ministry of Forestry of Natural Resources.