Mauritius: Workshop on waste management in Africa opens
A four-day regional workshop on waste management, which brings together representatives of governments, local communities, civil society and operators of cemeteries from 21 sub-Saharan African countries opened on Monday in Wolmar, Western Mauritius. It is organized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the US Embassy in Mauritius.
He said in view of the high quality of organic matters contained in waste, that is over 60%, 'priority should be given to composting not only of industrial waste, but also of domestic waste, as well as of public gardens and schools', he added.
Mr. Aimée said that composting and biogas production based on organic matters would relieve the pressure on the State waste management budget and that of local communities.
The minister also talked of the need to supervise scavengers, who constitute, according to him, an informal sector in the process of waste management.
'In many cases, this informal sector is already facilitating the recycling of 20% of waste or even more, at a low cost or without cost to local communities,' he declared.
For his part, the environment minister, Deva Virahsawmy, announced that some types of plastic bags would be banned in the island.
'Plastic accounts for 11% of the total volume of waste,' he affirmed.
The US Chargé d'affaires, Troy Fitrel, said the collection, dumping and disposal of solid waste is a major challenge many countries have to face up to, but more in Africa where in many cases, these wastes are thrown into open dumping sites.
'East African countries and the islands of the region suffer from lack of appropriate facilities, information and resources to manage solid waste in a healthy and efficient manner,' he declared.
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