On Tuesday, 25 October 2022, the Mayor of City of Windhoek, Cllr. Sade Gawanas and the Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Namibia, Her Excellency Ms. Sinikka Antila officiated the construction of two waste buy back centres in Katutura, as part of EU-funded project to improve solid waste management in the City of Windhoek. The State Secretary Dr. Olaf Joachim also offered virtual greetings from Windhoek’s twin city Bremen in Germany.

The “Improving Solid Waste Management in Windhoek” is a four-year project implemented within the framework of the Windhoek-Bremen Sister Cities Cooperation and funded by the European Union to the tune of 2.125 million Euros or 36.8 million Namibian Dollars.

The main objective of the project is to reduce waste volumes and harmful environmental impacts, and thus to expand the share of recycled waste along with creating jobs through innovative start-ups in the circular economy in Windhoek. The waste buy back centres will receive waste, process it, and add value to it for resell as raw material to the recycling industry for remanufacturing.

The project is expected to recycle 2000 tonnes of waste, with 100 monthly drop-offs per month by 2025. About 6800 students (pre-primary, primary and secondary), and about 200,000 residents will be sensitised by the project on waste recycling. The participation of all stakeholders including the private sector and the residents of the municipality of Windhoek is crucial to ensure project success.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Mayor Gawanas said: “Despite considerable delays experienced at the project inception due to COVID 19 lockdown restrictions, substantial project implementation progress has been achieved.” She added; “To date, public participation on the Environmental Impact Assessment process has been conducted for the two sites, and the project has been well received by residents, designs and layout are finalised, and construction of the Waste Buy Back Centre here at Erf 10713, situated at the corner of Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Bondel Street in Katutura.”

Ambassador Antila congratulated the two cities represented by their mayors for this positive milestone to achieve the City of Windhoek’s ambitious targets on recycling, packaging waste, landfill and solid waste management. She said; “The ground-breaking” for the construction of waste buy-back centres marks a very visible and impressive big step in our common endeavour to support Namibia to shift towards a more sustainable model known as the circular economy for Windhoek as a pilot, and hopefully for Namibia as a whole in the future.”

Background

The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen has been on friendly terms with Namibia, and in particular with the capital Windhoek, for over forty years. In 2000, representatives of the two cities signed an agreement to jointly implement Local Agenda 21. In partnership with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), joint projects have since then been carried out on the topics of vocational training, sustainable mobility and wastewater disposal. Since October 2017, Windhoek and Bremen have been working together on a climate partnership, supported by the BMZ. As part of this program, exchanges of municipal experts from both cities have taken place several times on topics such as waste management, wastewater management, sustainable tourism and environmental education.