Thursday, 17 March 2016


By MacPherson Mukuka

The hustle and bustle that is characteristic of Matero came to a temporary standstill this week when SABMiller’s Zambian operations joined hundreds of residents to clear waste from the streets and gutters during a Manja Pamodzi clean-up exercise.

The beer and soft drinks group encompassing Zambian Breweries, National Breweries and Heinrich Syndicate, initiated Manja Pamodzi, which is a community-based initiative that is helping to clean up post-consumer packaging waste in Lusaka, improving sanitation and hygiene as a result.

SABMiller Zambia Recycling Project Manager Elaine Kafwimbi, said that she felt inspired at the outpouring of participants, especially the womenfolk.

“It tells us that the word is getting around, the connection is being made between what we do and the need to protect the environment. We have seen a large number of women collectors here. This is encouraging because it means that a significant number of households will be sustained by the hard work of the numerous mothers and daughters present today,” said Ms Kafwimbi.
Ms. Kafwimbi noted that a strong message has to be sent to the communities about disposal habits, as garbage thrown indiscriminately threatens the health of local residents.

“Zambian Breweries believes in taking the lead and taking responsibility for helping to drive the Manja Pamodzi clean-up campaign. We call on communities, businesses and individuals to follow that lead so that we manage the situation, ensuring that packaging waste is properly collected and disposed of,” she said.

Children education activities ran throughout the morning and a prize giving ceremony was conducted to celebrate the collective effort that was made to clean-up their environment. Prizes included mobile phones, mealie meal, containers of cooking oil, caps, t-shirts and cases of soft drinks.
The event, which fell on Monday, March 7, 2016, is expected to be repeated in other localities.
The Manja Pamodzi project supports collectors, who are identified through environmental education and places a particular focus on recycling. These collectors will gather together plastic bottles, Chibuku cartons and other recyclable materials from surrounding areas in their communities. Collectors then deliver the waste to buying-centre collection points where aggregators buy them in bulk and process the discarded material into bales that are sold to recycling companies to be processed into other materials such as tissue.

This project hopes to improve the livelihood of the people. The aim is to minimise the amount of littering in the communities through environmental health education as well as encourage recycling.
“As Zambia has experienced exponential growth, our businesses have produced more to meet the demand of our consumers.  These products often come in convenient packaging such as plastic. This combined with the  lack of a reliable waste collection system and a low level awareness of the effects of waste in our communities have meant that our streets and drainage systems have become more and more polluted with litter. We therefore took the decision over a year ago to find a solution to the waste problem that we contribute to on the streets,” said SABMiller Zambia Managing Director Annabelle Degroot.
The group’s decision to drive the Manja Pamodzi initiative was based on research that showed only 26 percent  of the estimated 900 tons of waste that is generated daily in Lusaka is collected via formal services; and that 34 percent of the 900 tons produced a day is recyclable.
Manja Pamodzi is currently in its initial phase and has 73 collectors on board already with collection points in Chawama, Kamwala, Ngwerere, Chunga and others to follow as the project builds  on in the various communities.
The project has collected some 119 tonnes of cartons and 23 tonnes of PET plastic bottles in Lusaka with the help of 58 active community collectors.

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