Date: January 27, 2017
Venue: Zanzibar Beach Resort, Zanzibar
On 27th January 2017, Zanzibar Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA) and Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, India signed a Memorandum of Understanding that shall focus on strengthening environmental governance in the island. At the signing, Sheha Mjaja, Director, ZEMA said that the purpose of this MoU is to engage with CSE in a series of capacity building programmes on waste management and environmental compliance. ‘Under this association, CSE shall closely work with municipal bodies as well, to improve the status of waste management in the island’.
As per an estimate, Zanzibar generates 270 metric tonnes of garbage per day out of which only half the amount is treated. ‘The island is heavily dependent on tourism and we can’t afford to spoil the pristine beauty of this island. Through CSE’s co-operation, we shall be able to work towards solutions for a cleaner Zanzibar’, said the Deputy Principal Secretary, Ministry of Water, Energy and Environment, Mr. Tahir M.K Abdulla. He also said that this is first of its kind bilateral co-operation between India and Zanzibar and he is hopeful that this collaboration shall help in national development and shall curb poverty, push for better environment.
Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE highlighted that waste cannot be wasted in our countries and that it is high time we work on decentralized solutions. He emphasized on the need for better tourism reforms and guidelines in the island. ‘Waste management has to be like brushing your teeth, it should become our habit’, Bhushan said. He highlighted that under the co-operation; CSE shall start with working on reforms concerning solid waste in Zanzibar and will also closely work with authorities for better compliance and enforcement.
Following the MoU signing, a daylong workshop was held to discuss the framework for waste management for Stone Town and tourism sector in Zanzibar. ‘Over 500,000 tourists visit Zanzibar every year. The hotels have no accountability and do not adopt any sustainable practices for waste management. This is spoiling the sea, the lands of this island’ added Swati Singh Sambyal, Manager, CSE. ‘ There are over 270 hotels in the island, 70 in Stone Town itself that occupy over 1,860,000 beds per night’ Ms Sambyal further added. This number is shocking and hence an action plan is required for better waste management. West A, West B and the Urban Municipality along with important stakeholders from urban department and tourism sector including hotels attended the workshop.
All the garbage of the island is dumped at Kibele dumpsite, situated in the heart of Kibele forest. ‘Land cannot be used for dumping anymore, we need to move to segregation at source and treatment at source’, said Mr. Bhushan.
The municipalities found the workshop very useful. ‘Stone Town is very congested, but we need to maintain its heritage site status, this workshop has been an eye opener, we shall look into adopting some of the solutions suggested’, added Mzee Khamis Juma, Urban Municipality.
Also, some of the prime hotels of Stone Town participated in the workshop. ‘We shall definitely adopt the learnings of this workshop in our hotel. It is a matter of concern and we are glad that we have been invited in this meeting’, said Satish Naik, Assistant Director, Engineering, Park Hyatt, Stone Town.