Cities drive natural resource management
By MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – ACCRA, Lagos and Johannesburg have taken the lead by investing in and implementing interventions designed to conserve natural resources and energy for future generations.
This is according to organisers of the upcoming Africities Summit.
The United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) is organising the seventh edition of the event scheduled for Johannesburg, South Africa.
It comes on the back of the cities taking the lead particularly in the supply of safe and clean water and energy.
Johannesburg has set aside R234 million (about US$ 20 million) from its operating budget to be spent on environment and infrastructure services during the current financial year.
The city is investing in biodiversity conservation, integrated waste management and ecological infrastructure. The rehabilitation of a mine dump, air quality improvement as well as climate change and energy diversification are just some of a number of green initiatives that the metropolitan is focused on.
The City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Parks Tau, said the demand for efficient, reliable and affordable renewable and environmentally friendly energy was a basic need for all African households and industries.
“Local governments need to harness all available energy resources and come up with fresh approaches and initiatives to fund new projects, and encourage investments in this space through green incentives”, Tau said.
Last year, the City of Johannesburg became the first municipality in South Africa to list a â€˜Green Bondâ€™ at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The money raised through the R1,46 billion bond, that will mature in 2024, is set to finance green initiatives such as the Bio Gas-Energy Project, and other initiatives aimed at reducing green-house gas emissions.
Johannesburg has an estimated population of 4,5 million.
Meanwhile, Lagos in Nigeria is implementing several sustainability focused projects and on the lead to promote efficient community-based waste management.
The country’ s commercial capital’s rapid urbanisation and population growth has put a lot of pressure on its water, waste management and sanitation infrastructure.
These have seen the birth of the Lagos State Water Supply Master Plan 2010 “ 2020, which promotes, among others, access to potable water, reduction of waste and unaccounted water.
The plan is also designed to increase the amount of billed water, revenue collection efficiency and enhance reinvestment.
Lagos’s Sustainable Sewage and Sanitation Strategy furthermore includes the development of ten new wastewater treatment plants. This is also as the City has a landfill gas project underway, which comprises a municipal solid waste composting facility earmarked to lead to a significant reduction of emissions.
Lagos has an estimated population of 21 million.
Accra in Ghana, which has an estimated population of 2,2 million, is said to have an exemplary environmental management, monitoring and participation strategy.
According to the Siemens Green City Report, Accra is also strong in air quality and sanitation areas, and ranks above average for its high rate of renewable electricity and low electricity consumption.
The Africities Summit s expected to explore efficient resource management and renewable energy initiatives across the continent.
It will be held from November 29 to December 3. -CAJ News
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