HUMAN beings generate millions of tonnes of liquid and solid waste every day.
In the developing world, many cities, including Lusaka, do not have adequate treatment facilities for waste including fecal matter.
According to the World Bank, Africa alone spawns nearly 70 million tonnes of waste every year.
But as the revenue and spending power of the average African continues to rise, more goods will be consumed leading to even more waste.
Where treatment is lacking, waste ends up in water bodies or land. This leads to pollution of the water used on farms downstream, bringing urban fecal matter back up the food chain and to the urban household table.
The result of this cycle is severe environmental pollution and public health problems.
But there is good news to this. In Zambia some individuals and companies have turned to waste as a big source of raising income through safe waste re-use and recovery investment options. An exceptional idea!
Today the only mercantile waste dumpsite in Lusaka located in Chunga Compound has become a hive of activity by determined individuals eager to fight poverty and its offshoots.
Instead of worrying about being jobless, some resolute Zambian, Indian and Chinese nationals have made this waste-yard a gold mine where discarded plastic wares and other solid matters are collected for recycling and generation of products for both local and export markets.
According to one of the collectors found at the site, Abel Jere, the solid waste collected from the site and other materials are being recycled into different products for Zambian and foreign markets.
Among the popular waste materials that people scramble for at the site include plastic bottles and buckets, plastic bags, egg trays and many others.
Unemployed youths, both male and female should therefore seriously consider making themselves into smart entrepreneurs by turning this huge waste into money-making venture including production of fertilizer to support the agriculture sector.
It is a brilliant idea that will profit the pockets of our youths and the environment at the same time. Like the ‘Black Mountain’ in Kitwe, Zambians should earnestly look at the Chunga waste dumpsite as an economic opportunity worth pursuing