First Lady Gertrude Mutharika on Thursday commissioned Msilo Waste Management Facility in Mzuzu, marking the beginning of the end of unsafe dumping of waste in the populous Mchengautuwa Township.
The K220 million facility, financed by the European Union (EU) through Plan International, opens business opportunities for entrepreneurs expected to manage waste in a safer manner.
The facility is part of Mzuzu Peri-Urban Sanitation and Hygiene (Push) project. It comprises a sorting bay and drying beds for recycling and reuse of waste.
The first lady asked other cities to emulate the example set by Mzuzu City Council (MCC) and urged against indiscriminate disposal of waste.
“Let me appeal to the council to fully utilise this facility by maximising waste collection levels,” she said.
The opening of Msilo will accelerate the closing down of Mchengautuwa landfill, an eyesore and a health hazard to residents of the high-density township.
“The new infrastructure will prevent the dumping of waste in uncontrolled landfills, where the most vulnerable populations try to make a living in risky conditions and various types of waste tend to end up lying unprotected without proper fencing,” said EU head of infrastructure Fernando Trabada Crende.
Plan International country director Lilly Omondi urged MCC to prudently use the facility which has the capacity of generating biogas.
MCC chief executive officer Mcloud Kadam’manja said hopes are high that the facility will ease the huge burden and costs of waste management in the leafy city whose major dumpsite has long been blamed for water and air pollution.