Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad announced that EGP 29m will be allocated to purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) for 11,000 waste workers with the National Solid Waste Management Program (NSWMP) in four governorates.
Fouad’s statement came as she chaired on Tuesday, via videoconferencing, the eighth meeting of the committee monitoring the NSWMP.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the four governorates. These included Governor of Assiut Essam Saad El Din, Governor of Kafr El-Sheikh Gamal Nour El Din, Governor of Qena Ashraf El Dawoudi, and Gharbeya Governor Tarek Rahmi.
Also present at the meeting were Head of the German Development Cooperation Office Ove Jilin, and heads of the Environmental Affairs Agency and the Waste Management Regulatory Authority.
During the meeting, the committee discussed the NSWMP’s plans and procedures for dealing with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This would include providing the health protection and PPE for its waste system workers to ensure their safety.
They also addressed the efforts of solid waste units dealing with those villages under isolation due their having confirmed coronavirus cases in the four governorates.
Fouad stressed the need for continued coordination with waste management units to undertake the necessary measures for the villages under isolation measures. This will also ensure all precautions for transporting the solid waste away from these villages and its safe disposal is undertaken.
She pointed out that the next step, cooperation with the governors, will be taken to include ensuring the sustainability of operations and maintenance of all equipment and infrastructure installations.
Maintenance of intermediate stations and recycling factories funded through the NSWMP will also fall under this. She further stressed the importance of investing in human resources for waste management work to continue.
The NSWMP, which has an estimated cost of €77.9 m, has been implemented across the governorates of Kafr El-Sheikh, Gharbeya, Qena, and Assiut. It aims to develop and raise the efficiency of the municipal solid waste system in these governorates.
The programme also provides technical support, whilst implementing the main plans for system management, and follow up on equipment operation plans and infrastructure project implementation. The latter covers recycling plants, landfills and intermediary stations.