MOZAMBIQUE – The municipality of Pemba, Mozambique, has secured US$1 million in financing from the Japanese government through the UNDP to improve the efficiency of its solid waste collection and transport.

This funding aims to address the unsatisfactory state of solid waste management in Pemba, which has worsened with the influx of internally displaced persons fleeing armed attacks by insurgent groups in Cabo Delgado.

Part of the budget will be used to purchase backhoe loaders, container trucks, graders, tippers, trucks, motorbikes, and other equipment to enhance environmental sanitation in Pemba by June 2025.

Samuel Akera, head of the UNDP office, emphasized that this initiative is part of the UNDP’s Stabilization and Immediate Recovery project, implemented in Cabo Delgado, where violent attacks between the Islamist group Al-Shabaab and the Mozambican armed forces have been ongoing since 2017.

“The objective of this agreement with the municipality is to reinforce capacity in terms of equipment for solid waste management in Pemba, as part of the UNDP project for the recovery and stabilization of Cabo Delgado,” said Akera, emphasizing the UNDP’s crucial role in the project and reassuring the audience of its effectiveness.

Mayor Satar Abdulgani reiterated the promise that the funding will be a beacon of hope for Pemba, and he is committed to improving environmental sanitation in the city by acquiring necessary equipment.

“You can be sure that in five years we will not be in situations of poor management of solid waste and access roads in our neighborhoods in Pemba,” Abdulgani assured, instilling hope for a cleaner and healthier future for the city.

Maputo residents struggle with uncollected rubbish due to municipal financial issues

Meanwhile, residents of several neighborhoods in Maputo face foul-smelling rubbish on the streets as the municipal council has halted garbage collection.

The council cites a lack of funds to pay a debt of 280 million meticais (about US$4.4 million) owed to subcontracted waste collection companies.

João Munguambe, the municipal councilor for Infrastructure and Health, acknowledged the situation, stating that the municipality knows the rubbish piles, but financial constraints prevent settling the debts.

“Although we acknowledge this debt, we also have current expenditures and managing old debts. We have to find the budget to manage current and previous accounts,” he said.

Munguambe also mentioned that the money residents pay through the monthly rubbish tax is insufficient to cover waste collection costs.

However, the municipality has never informed residents about this shortfall, which is included in their electricity and water bills. He accused residents of generating excessive waste, necessitating new collection strategies.

“The waste collection activity must not stop, and we are restructuring it. This is being done with some science. In the next few days, we’ll start repaying the debt,” Munguambe added.

The municipality’s financial management is under scrutiny, especially since it spent 10 million meticais (US$156,510) on Independence Day festivities on June 25.

Additionally, the municipality is involved in a controversial 290,000 meticais (US$4,538) public tender to contract a company to paint a Municipal Police car.

According to Municipal Secretary Euclides Rangel, as cited by the independent daily “O País”, the painting was completed in February, and the tender was launched only to formalize the already completed work.

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