In an effort to conserve the environment, a 24-year-old young man Martin Manyozo, who is the Project Leader for Clean Cities Project, has embarked on an awareness campaign on proper waste management, climate change resilience, and sanitation targeting secondary school students in the country.
Speaking at one of the awareness activities at Nambuma Secondary School in Lilongwe, Manyozo said he noted that there are high illiteracy levels among Malawians and youths inclusive of proper waste management, Climate change, and sanitation.
“Very little waste in Malawi is recycled or treated, 80 percent of the waste finds its way to the landfills or the natural environment where it is burnt which pollutes the air, water, and land while putting people’s health at risk.
“Our goal for these awareness campaigns is to train and equip the students and youths at Nambuma Sec School with waste management practices (Recycling, Reusing, Reduce , Repurpose and Refuse) for example we trained them how to recycle solid waste to produce briquettes to place charcoal and firewood since 97% of Malawians use charcoal and firewood which is a big driver of deforestation and degradation which contribute to 60% of greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
Manyozo said targeting youths and students is important since more than half of Malawi’s population comprises youths who make a large part of the population.
He said another reason is that their organization’s goal is to transform the culture and perception towards waste management, climate change and sanitation where they believe that targeting youths or students can help to transform and accelerate new sanitation practices and waste management practices.
“As Clean Cities Project, our goal is to help transform the culture and perception of Malawians on waste management and sanitation, we want them to view waste as valuable and something that can be turned into treasure, we plan to engage 10,000 youths and students by the end of this year through our awareness campaigns and civic education on waste management, climate resilience, sanitation, and cholera prevention,” said Manyozo.
On his part, Blessings Micheal Chiwayula, a teacher and sanitation Officer at Nambuma Secondary School expressed excitement over the coming of Clean Cities Project at the school.
“We are very happy with the project here. They have trained and empowered our students and management with proper waste management skills and knowledge on cholera prevention and Climate resilience.
“We thank Manyozo and his team since these are big issues on the health of the students and academics,” he said
Mercy Moyo, a form one student who is a campaign’s beneficiary also hailed Clean Cities Project saying it has benefited her a lot.
“I have learnt more on waste recycling and waste management, sanitation, and cholera prevention.
“I have been enlightened by the Clean Cities Project that we can turn waste into treasure and as a youth, I aim to contribute to my school and my community by sharing the messages with others and practicing myself as well.
” I am grateful to Clean Cities Project for coming to our school,” she said.