On the World Habitat Day, the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship Lesotho, and the UN-Habitat jointly hosted an Urban Breakfast dialogue session on Municipal Solid Waste Management –the theme of World Habitat Day 2018.
The event which was hosted in Maseru, reviewed the milestones so far achieved by Lesotho towards implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA). Following the Habitat III Conference, Member States of the United Nations adopted NUA as a framework for planning and managing cities sustainably.
The World Habitat Day – Urban Breakfast session will be followed by the Lesotho National Urban Forum convened by the Government to consolidate the country’s position on sustainable urban development, advance related policies, and formulate a national implementation framework for the New Urban Agenda. Outcomes of these multi-stakeholder forums will be shared at the tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) in 2020.
The Minister for Local Government and Chieftainship Hon. Habofanoe Lehana emphasized the importance of evaluating environmental awareness and evolving educational strategies to raise people’s awareness. “Let me draw your attention to vision 2020 where Basotho have stated their aspiration to promote and protect a healthy and sustainable environment.
In the vision, Lesotho has committed itself to keeping its waste generation rate below 150 000 tons per year and to recovering 70 percent of such waste by the year 2010, 75 percent by 2015 and 79 percent by 2020” he said.
The Mayor of Maseru City Ms. Mpho Moloi challenged Basotho to “unite to keep Maseru clean – waste management is everybody’s responsibility” while UNDP Deputy Representative Ms. Christy Ahenkora noted that “environmentally sound practices should be smart enough to promote jobs and engage communities in creating wealth.”
UN-Habitat Coordinator of Advocacy Platforms Mr. Roi Chiti linked the WHD theme to global development frameworks and implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Congratulating Lesotho as a key partner of UN-Habitat he observed that waste disposal is just one element within overall production and consumption practices that need to be addressed seriously if the ambitious development goals set out by the international community are to be achieved.
Ms. ‘Mantai Phaila of Maseru City Council (MCC) said the municipality will strengthen current management practices and ensure more strict enforcement of existing regulations, while Ms. ‘Mantopi Lebofa of the Technology for Economic Development (TED) institute and Mr. Moleheng Petlane of Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture in Lesotho stressed the need to engage with private sector and youth in communities.