Way too much waste in Africa

If Africans don't look at the waste they are producing, the continent will be producing more than double it did in 2012 by 2025.

24 February 2019 | Environment

Windhoek • Yolanda Nel



Current trends indicate that Africa's waste generation is expected to reach more than 240 million tonnes per year by 2025 – almost double that of 2012.

These findings were published in the 2018 Africa Waste Management Outlook report by the United Nations Environment Programme and partners. Linda Godfrey, coordinating lead author on the report, said that population growth, urbanisation, economic development and global trade play vital roles as drivers of waste generation.

“The urban population in Africa has been rising steadily over time. It was estimated at 455 million in 2014 and around 472 million in 2015 and is increasing at a rate of 3.55% per year,” the report reads. It also states that although only 40% of Africa's population live in urban areas, it is urbanising faster than other regions.

On the economic development front, the majority of African countries aspire to achieve middle-income country status by 2025. Considering that in Africa, children under the age of 25 account for 60% of the population, rapid economic growth is inevitable. “The number of young Africans entering the workforce is estimated at between 10 and 12 million per annum which is much higher than the estimated 3.1 million jobs created.”



Daily waste

Figures show that in 2012, an estimated 125 million tonnes of waste a year was produced in Africa, of which 81 million tonnes was from sub-Saharan Africa. The average per capita waste generation in Africa in 2012 was 0.78 kg per day, with considerable spatial differences in the amount of waste generated. It ranged from as low as 0.09 kg per day in some countries to as high as 2.98 kg per day in others. In Namibia, the waste generated was estimated at less than 0.6 kg per day. It is projected that this figure will grow to 1kg of waste per day within the next six years.

The composition of Namibia's waste is mostly organic at 48% and includes food scraps, yard waste like leaves and grass, as well as process residues. Although making up almost half of the country's waste, it is relatively lower than the continent's average organic waste of 62.8%. The country's plastic waste contributes to 11% of its waste, almost 3% more than the average of Africa. While Namibians on average might be using more plastic than other African countries, Namibia Polymer Recyclers, situated in Okahandja, recycled 1 568 tons of plastic waste last year. This recycled material is used in various production facilities across Namibia, producing various plastic products.

Residents across the country support the initiative and the hope is to set up more recycling plants throughout the country. “We are investigating mobile recycling stations,” said Janine Briedenham of Plastic Packaging, on their Facebook page.

Similar News

 

From cooking oil to biofuel

2 weeks ago - 10 March 2019 | Environment

Windhoek • Yolanda NelA bottle of cooking oil is heated up in the deep fryer to make the perfect, golden chicken nuggets. Once the oil...

How the Moringa can purify water

2 weeks ago - 10 March 2019 | Environment

Next Thursday (14 March), the National Commission on Research, Science & Technology (NCRST) hosts a public lecture presented by Prof Habauka Kwaambwa on the evaluation...

Where to with the animals?

2 weeks ago - 10 March 2019 | Environment

Windhoek • Nina Cerezo Following the recent culling of hyenas to save the Wild Horses of the Garub, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta repeatedly referred to...

Climate change slows aquaculture

3 weeks ago - 03 March 2019 | Environment

Lüderitz • Ewin LeuschnerA workshop titled Enhancing Climate Change Resilience in the Benguela Current Fisheries System was ­held in Lüderitz recently, where experts discussed the...

Blue economy faces myriad challenges

3 weeks ago - 03 March 2019 | Environment

Windhoek • Jana-Mari Smith “The work on Namibia's blue economy is on-going, yet little information on the status thereof exists,” says Institute for Public Policy...

Conservation snapshot

1 month - 17 February 2019 | Environment

On Tuesday (19 February), Peter Bridgeford launches the book Conservation Pioneers in Namibia and stories by Game Rangers at the Scientific Society.This book of personal...

Elke bietjie help

1 month - 10 February 2019 | Environment

Yolanda Nel Daar is niks so lekker soos ’n heerlike espresso nie – veral nie as daardie varsgemaalde goue stroop deur ’n masjien loop nie.En...

Insects heading to Windhoek soon

1 month - 04 February 2019 | Environment

Yolanda Nel With large areas of the capital already infested by three invasive cactus species, various avenues are being pursued to prevent further spread...

Get your green fingers going

1 month - 27 January 2019 | Environment

Ever wanted to grow your own veg? Then don't miss out on seedling production training taking place in the capital next month.This hands on training...

Kniediep in die gemors

1 month - 27 January 2019 | Environment

Yolanda Nel - Inwoners van die Hakahana informele nedersetting in die hoofstad is moeg dat versoeke aan die Windhoekse stadsraad om rommel te verwyder, op...

Latest News

Beach volleyball action at the...

2 hours ago | Sports

Social division action from the first day of the Namibian Volley Ball Federation (NVB) organised 2019 Bank Windhoek Swakopmund Beach Volleyball tournament at the Mole....

Schools compete at desert sport...

2 hours ago | Sports

The sixth annual Buco Desert Sport Festival took place from 19 to 23 March at the Walvis Bay Private High School sports field. This year...

Bullseye

2 hours ago | Sports

Thirty eight archers are competing at the first ever outdoor target archery competition in Swakopmund. The competition which is taking place over two days...

The soldiers among us

2 hours ago | Sports

Windhoek • Yolanda NelHundreds of athletes and rookies joined in the fun during the Toyota Warrior Race that took place at Heja Lodge yesterday. Armin...

Two in a row for...

2 hours ago | Sports

Swakopmund • Adolf KaureThe second edition of the Sanlam Coastal Marathon took place in Swakopmund.Mynhard Kauanivi won the men's 42.2 km marathon for the second...

Fundraising for strays

1 day - 24 March 2019 | Society

Windhoek • Yolanda NelGiven that a single pair of dogs and their offspring are able to produce more than 11 000 puppies a year and...

Kom bak en brou saam

1 day - 24 March 2019 | Society

Windhoek • Yolanda NelWou jy nog altyd ook koekies mooi versier, maar die taak lyk glad nie bereikbaar nie?Dan is hierdie ’n geleentheid wat jy...

Little foot entertains

1 day - 24 March 2019 | Business

A newly erected chameleon structure is entertaining children at the Grove Mall of Namibia.Since chameleons are well-known for their adaptations to survive the brutal deserts,...

A better future for the...

1 day - 24 March 2019 | Social Issues

Windhoek • Yolanda NelStatistics on how many Namibian children are at risk, is dire. As a result, a group of people decided that something needs...

Load More