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Lusaka, 22nd July 2020 –United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched an innovation call to support ground-breaking start-ups and Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) that will change the management and recycling of waste in the cities of Lusaka and Ndola.

According to a statement released by the UNDP, Resident Representative, Mr. Lionel Laurens, has highlighted that the multi-faceted challenges in waste management have grave impacts on human health and the environment, causing diseases such as cholera, dysentery and pollution, as well as water, air, soil or land contamination, proliferation of pests and vermin and the loss of aesthetic beauty.

Acknowledging the important role played by youths and their potential impact and contribution to sustainable development, Mr. Laurens said that there is an urgent need to address such challenges by giving young innovators opportunity to provide sustainable solutions to waste management challenges, which in turn through this Call, will contribute to durable employment creation for the youth, especially females and to improve green income generating opportunities in the sector”.

This Innovation Call is open to all Zambian youths aged between 18 – 35, with 50% of grants specifically earmarked to young women, in Lusaka and/or Ndola while focusing on devising a sustainable and innovative solutions to the challenges of waste recycling beyond the life of the catalytic funding made available. The innovation must be new to the targeted city, Lusaka or Ndola.

The Call targets 10 successful individuals or small companies to receive a challenge prize amounting up to USD 4,000 to support the implementation of their proposal. In addition, these individuals or companies will be matched to a corresponding business development support and mentorship programme to enhance their skills and growth capacity.

According to the LCC-WMU Final Report of 2014,  only 36% of total waste generated in Lusaka is collected while a study of Ndola in 2014 by the International Journal of Plant, Animal and Environmental Services, Solid Waste Management: A Case Study of Ndola, revealed the problems facing the local Council to collect waste despite 80% of residents in medium density areas willingness to pay for waste collection. This leads to burning or disposing waste illegally in drains and open areas without any attempt to recycling, causing visual nuisances as well as land and air pollution.

To apply, applicants can access the Google Form on the following link: Innovation Call or visit https://www.zm.undp.org/content/zambia/en/home/accelerator-labs.html for more details.

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