ZAMBIA: UNDP promotes innovative waste management initiatives

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ZAMBIA: UNDP promotes innovative waste management initiatives©Peek Creative Collective/Shutterstock

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently launched a call for innovation for start-up and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working in the field of waste management and recycling in Zambia. The initiative is aimed at empowering Zambians to provide sustainable solutions to waste management problems. Applicants have until August 14, 2020 to submit their proposals.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) call for innovation was launched on July 21, 2020. It is open to young Zambians aged 18 to 35, owners of start-up or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the field of waste management. Entrepreneurs are expected to present sustainable and innovative solutions to the challenges of waste recycling for the cities of Lusaka, the capital and largest city of Zambia, and Ndola, the regional capital of Copperbelt.

According to a 2014 report by the Lusaka City Council and the city’s waste management unit, only 36% of the waste generated in the capital is collected. A study carried out the same year in Ndola by the International Journal of Plant, Animal And Environmental Services and Solid Waste Management, also showed the propensity of residents to burn and illegally dispose of waste in sewers and open spaces, causing soil and air pollution. “The challenges of waste management in these cities and in Zambia in general have serious repercussions on human health and the environment, causing diseases such as cholera, dysentery and air, water, soil and land pollution,” explains Lionel Laurens, the UNDP Resident Representative in Zambia.

Proposals should be submitted by August 14, 2020

Start-ups or SMEs interested in the UNDP call for projects still have two weeks to apply. At the end of this call for proposals, 10 projects from start-ups or SMEs will be selected by the UNDP. The best entrepreneurs will receive a prize worth US$4,000 (72,898 Zambian kwachas) to support the implementation of their proposals, with 50 per cent of the grants specifically earmarked for young women.

The selected projects will also take part in a business development support programme to improve their skills and green income generation opportunities in Zambia’s waste management sector.

For more information, please click here.

Inès Magoum

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