Step up efforts to improve sanitation, local govts told

There is need to roll out training programmes for district officials in waste management, an expert has said. This would improve the capacity of secondary cities to recycle waste.
Workers at Nduba dump site in Gasabo District sort out gabbage. (Timothy Kisambira)
Workers at Nduba dump site in Gasabo District sort out gabbage. (Timothy Kisambira)

There is need to roll out training programmes for district officials in waste management, an expert has said.

This would improve the capacity of secondary cities to recycle waste.

Speaking to The New Times in an interview, Paulin Buregeya, the CEO of COPED, one of the entities currently working with districts in waste management, said that districts need deliberate training on waste management.

“We are trying to help districts manage waste from sources to disposal. For example, in Kamonyi District we are installing machinery on dumpsites for waste treatment but secondary cities should develop the same model,” he said.

He added that districts need knowledge in waste management, management of landfills and necessary infrastructures.

“We face several challenges in waste management chain, from administrative and technical to treatment. We need trucks to separately transport solid and soft waste. We also need recycling knowledge to produce resources such as briquettes, manure and usable materials,” he said.

He added that some districts build landfills but lack necessary infrastructure which affects greening projects in cities.

“It is necessary that 90 per cent of waste be treated but it is still at 10 per cent in most districts,” he said.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) last week announced $600,000 (about Rwf510.5 million) funding toward Rwanda’s green city development projects aligned to the climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Buregeya said part of this funding should be used to build capacities in waste management in secondary cities.

The funding is generally meant to support mitigation and adaptation projects in urban areas reserved for investments in forestry, ecotourism, conservation, and sustainable transportation systems.

It is also expected to support water and sanitation infrastructures as well as recreational and maintenance of green spaces.

Jean Damascene Habyarimana, the Mayor of Musanze District, one of the country’s six secondary cities, said core challenges include green projects preparation and implementation.

“For instance, we are building a landfill for waste management, we recently discussed with Rwanda Energy Group on how to generate energy from them. But the project requires implementers to get necessary skills to know if all components of the project are included,” he said.

Innocent Kabenga, the Rwanda Representative for Global Green Growth Institute which is the main implementer of secondary cities’ projects, also cited skill gaps in implementation.

Kabenga said the funding will help in identifying investment priorities while developing strategies for the implementation of green city development projects.

He said efforts will also be put in strengthening coordination, monitoring and evaluation of climate-finance flows.

Some of the pillars of green urbanisation include efficient waste collection and treatment, design of eco-friendly landfill sites, green buildings, efficient energy production and use, sustainable energy sources from renewables, and reducing the amount of polluting vehicles.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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