THE Pomona Waste Management system in northern Harare should be replicated countrywide as it is testament to Government’s commitment to transforming communities to world-class standards, where residents enjoy the ambiance of modern built environments, President Mnangagwa has said.
Perennial fires, flooding and air pollution that once characterised the dumpsite are now a thing of the past following transformative works by Geo Pomona Waste Management Pvt Ltd.
The waste management site is also being turned into a modern recycling plant which will generate between 16 to 22 megawatts of electricity from methane.
It will also have recreational facilities such as basketball courts, tennis courts, parking lots, a soccer field and a restaurant, which are at different stages of construction.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for the waste-to-energy project in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa congratulated Geo Pomona Waste Management (Pvt) Ltd for the transformation of the facility, previously an eyesore, into a promising modern and clean infrastructure.
“This project must emerge as a flagship waste-to-energy project that can be replicated in other parts of our country. I wish you great success as you accelerate the implementation of the project.
“The undesirable landfills, including the resultant ground and air pollution, should now cease to be a public, health and environmental challenge,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said at all levels, people should remain conscious of risks associated with waste and pollution which include those related to the health of communities, degradation of the natural ecosystem, threats to food security and climate change.
“As such, highly efficient waste-collection practices, environmental control systems and appropriate legislation, including by-laws, must be enforced across our local authorities. Indiscriminate dumping and littering should never be tolerated.
“I challenge all citizens to equally play their part as stewards to a clean and healthy environment. We must reject filthy environments and dirt in our communities. This is not who we are as Zimbabweans,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said through the project, waste is now a valuable commodity that will provide throughput to the plant while improving overall sanitation and hygiene in the City of Harare.
“More importantly, the conversion of waste into energy remains a critical component of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and thus, an important intervention with regards climate change mitigation.
“Meanwhile, I challenge the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and City of Harare along with the investors to remain focused towards the speedy completion of this project,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said his Government welcomes the participation of the private sector towards accelerating the country’s economic growth and the provision of world-class services.
“The Geo Pomona Waste-to-Energy Project highlights the confidence investors have in the conducive business environment which has been fostered by the Second Republic.
“Further, it attests to the positive results that can be derived from mutually beneficial partnerships between the public and private sectors,” he said.
“It is commendable that under the Build-Own-Operate and Transfer joint venture model, the project will see the construction of a waste-to-energy plant which will produce 22 megawatts of electricity.
“Once on the national grid, this energy output will go a long way towards augmenting our national energy mix.”
The President said his Government is committed to creating employment and empowerment opportunities for women and the youth and was pleased to note that the Geo Pomona Project has a staff compliment which includes this important demographic.
He said the envisaged benefits to be generated under the project must give impetus to all parties in the project, such as the Environmental Management Agency, to consolidate existing activities and build capacity with regards to ensuring sustainability in waste disposal and management.
Geo Pomona chief executive officer and executive chairman Mr Delish Nguwaya said they were entrusted to run the project in April 2022.
Mr Nguwaya said within a space of a month, their pilot transformation exercise resulted in a considerable and refreshing facelift of the old ill-famed Pomona dumping site.
“Geo Pomona Waste Management owes its existence to our President’s national development vision. Without his passion for development there will be no Geo Pomona Waste Management. This project is an offspring of the Second Republic’s commitment to create clean cities and is the first of numerous projects we intend to initiate across the entire country,” he said.
Mr Nguwaya said prior to the commencement of the project, the Pomona site was in a deplorable state but they have since transformed it into potentially one of Africa’s best waste management sites.
“All of this work was inspired by the need to create a clean, safe environment in the fight against health hazards that the old Pomona dumping site was posing to our city.
“To this end Geo Pomona Waste Management offers a long term and sustainable environmental solution through managing and sorting waste thereby reducing environmental pollution and health hazards,” he said.
Mr Nguwaya said the project will see waste being turned into electricity that will feed the national grid.
“This is complementing Government efforts to ensure all Zimbabweans have electricity. The waste-to-energy plant will be constructed in year three of the project. As part of our corporate social responsibility agenda, we will be installing five state of the art recreational facilities on the site: a soccer field, two basketball courts, two tennis courts, changing rooms and a restaurant,” he said.
Mr Nguwaya said since inception to date, the thrust of the company has been to create jobs.
“We continue to grow our human capital base as this project takes a new innovative shape. We look forward to being the highest employer in the region as this project takes its intended long-term direction. We are also contributing our fair share of corporate social responsibility by supporting the vision of turning Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income society by 2030,” he said.
Public Service Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo, who was representing Local Government Minister Winston Chitando, said the project has full Government support.
“The project is a combination of Government, the city, private sector and residents of the greater Harare Metropolitan Province,” he said.
Minister Moyo said not only will the city of Harare contribute to what is going to happen at Geo Pomona Waste Management site but Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Epworth will also weigh in bringing the refuse that is needed to generate electricity of 16 to 22 megawatts.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province Charles Tavengwa said it is an honour to house such a project, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe.
“The magnitude and complexity of waste management in Harare Metropolitan Province requires the adoption of an integrated approach that brings all key stakeholders together to ensure that our city Harare is kept clean from litter,” he said.
A resident of Ushewokunze, Mr David Guriyanga, said the place used to be an eyesore but noted with satisfaction the transformation that has taken place.
“The area is now refreshing in that one can be mistaken to think that there is a hotel since all the junk that used to be associated with the place is no more,” he said.
A resident of Churu, Mrs Daka, said the area has been given a major facelift.
“This place used to be smelly. It was hard passing by the Pomona area with flies everywhere, but now all that is a thing of the past. Our wish is for the programme to be expanded,” she said. – Herald