The Africa Municipal and Local Government Unions Network (AMALGUN) has called on African governments to develop innovative approaches to finance their waste management priorities to provide jobs for its teaming unemployed youth.
The Network said the waste management sector provided an opportunity for governments to increase spending in the sector to manage it well.
It noted that despite governments’ initiatives, the waste management sector in Africa continued to experience low government financing, inadequate service delivery by the private sector, public health concerns and inadequate supply of health and safety gadgets for workers.
In this regard, the Network encouraged African governments to partner the private sector in a win-win situation in terms of wealth creation to address its waste management challenges.
These were contained in a communique issued at the end of its seventh strategy meeting, which was called to strengthen the network and identify the role of labour unions in the face of policy shift in solid waste management in Africa.
The network among other things raised concerns regarding management of waste, without compromising environmental sustainability, government and private sector investment in waste management and rights and living conditions of waste pickers.
The network further noted that about 80 percent of waste management services were delivered by the private sector with low trade union participation, poor working conditions for waste pickers and discrimination against informal workers along the waste management value chain.
They also stressed the need for local and county governments to be empowered to identify waste management opportunities and work with sister institutions and local enterprises to generate revenue.
It also called on Africa governments to put in place mechanisms to regulate the activities of private sector players in the waste management sector and ensure that plastic use and waste management policies had clear and comfortable carbon emission regulations.
The network has resolved to encourage its members to recruit and organise waste pickers and other workers within the waste management value chain to secure their rights to join or form association or union of their choice.