THERE’S HUGE MARKET FOR WASTE – TOURISM MINISTER
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THERE’S HUGE MARKET FOR WASTE – TOURISM MINISTER

Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Moses Vilakati, has said that the public can eke out a decent lifestyle from collecting waste matter and taking it to recycling centers like Ngwenya Glass which accepts disused bottles of all types, at a fee. Ngwenya Glass reuses and reconditions the wasted bottles and makes new products. During the Eswatini Strategic Road map to economic recovery 2019-2023 meeting at the Convention Center at Ezulwini on May 8, the minister said his ministry intended to improve the country’s scenery and they would introduce a ‘Clean Eswatini Campaign’ whereby once a month communities would go out to clean their areas. Vilakati said the government would not finance such campaigns but people need to rise to the benefit of self-worth and responsibility as citizens of Eswatini, going out and cleaning their areas which in the end would contribute and benefit economic reinvention and by extension citizenry. He said with the tourism industry being one sector that is assigned as a resource for the salvaging of the economy –and for the attraction of tourists –the country needs to be clean. Recycling, when done correctly, conserves natural resources and lowers the impact of producing goods and services, using new or virgin material. The minister said other places are Kamdodi in Matsapha where farmers collect waste for the purpose of putting together composts for their gardens and fields where they cultivate different types of crops. “Waste is sellable,’’ said the minister. The minister said waste matter can be a big industry itself that can have many uses, including landfill and the generation of energy, and all these can come at a fee. He said waste collection was a business in its own right –only just that people need to rise to the realization. He said people can make themselves useful through honest efforts, reiterating that while at it they can eke out a living, with open opportunities for the desperate lot of unemployed to earn something instead of nothing, through taking advantage of recycling centers. Tourists are known to shun unclean
places mainly due to fear of contamination and would call off any trip to such places, thus depriving the country of foreign exchange and contribution to economic recovery. Vilakati mentioned that the country needs to take leaf from some Central African countries like Rwanda whose citizens, on awareness, took to the streets and cleaned out their own countries, thus attracting big numbers of tourists. “These communities in these countries didn’t seek
financing from their governments but got it woven in their mindset that it was their responsibility to clear out
their environments,’’ said Vilakati, adding that Eswatini could not be like its neighbors, The Republic of South Africa and other oversees countries like the United States of America who provide incentives for their people to collect waste and deliver it at central points. In fact, said the minister, it is common knowledge that Eswatini is on scratch in terms of its fiscal position and any spending of money should be done wisely. Of note, plastic bags form part of waste matter in Eswatini and doing away with them rests on research and implementation of regulation. In some countries especially oversees, by regulation, stores including major ones, stopped the provision of plastic bags and replaced them with biodegradable brown paper sacks, which themselves can have
many uses including the generation of energy. These countries are super clean and with stiff penalties if one so
much flipped a cigarette butt out of one’s car window or dumped along the street an empty milk carton and was spotted by security or city traffic police one is prosecuted, cleanliness is maintained. Interviewed in the streets some people, including business people said they welcomed the initiative of the cleaning campaign but had
mixed feelings on whether or not it would be successful. Business people who preferred anonymity said it was sad that most Emaswati wouldn’t find motivation without money and in the end the initiative might just remain logical information without practicality. They said it might be a good idea if through the Tinkhundla and imiphakatsi communities would be engaged on the viability of the cleaning exercises. They added that with diplomatic ties
with countries like China on Taiwan, perhaps they can assist the Kingdom by sending over some of their experts
in public cleanliness and order to give some advice. They agreed that areas of potential tourist attraction
in Eswatini were unsanitary and unsightly and a sad interpretation on the public spirit of the people. ‘’For
foreign attraction it warrants urgent action by the authorities and a lead should be given by the government
which must urge those at the local level to address cleanliness,’’ said a businessman of note. Another added that it could start with the unofficial parking attendants, themselves generators of litter as they sit on pavements between assignments. He said they should be encouraged to collect litter (in sacks provided by the city councils)
and deposit it to convenient drop-off points.

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