Bobabe Tikhulu,

Deputy Prime Minister,

Cabinet Ministers,

Regional Administrator,

Members of both Houses of Parliament,

Excellencies members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Mayors and Councillors,

Senior Government officials,


Captains of Industry,

Members of the Media,

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen;

It is my honour to join the people of Nhlangano and the entire Shiselweni region on this day where the Nation launches the Clean Eswatini Campaign.

This campaign is a long term strategic vision of Government in pursuit of a clean and greener Eswatini. We are here today because of the environment, our common shared responsibility, at National level, Regional level and most importantly, in our local communities as well.

All of us have a right to a clean environment, the right to environmental protection and to live in an environment that is not harmful to our health and our well-being. This is a fundamental Constitutional right. This right underpins the Environment Management Act of 2002 (EMA) as well as other subsidiary legislation, including the Waste Regulations of 2000 and Litter Regulations of 2011.

Government has a responsibility to put in place appropriate measures that seek to minimise waste generation and ensure that where waste is generated, measures for re-use, recycle and recover in an environmentally sound manner are put in place before safe treatment and disposal.

The Environment Management Act calls upon citizens to avoid generating waste, but where such cannot be avoided, there should measures to minimise its toxicity and promote re-use, recycle and resource-recovery. These measures are done in the context of achieving sustainable consumption and production patterns which is goal 12 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Shifting towards a resource trajectory is more relevant now as our country strives to promote green economy initiatives and move towards a circular economy model. This calls for strategies at all levels, including at the community level, to free our cities, towns and villages from waste.

It is a sad reality that we have littered our environment in spite of all the legislative measures in place.  This reality has harmfully impacted our health, environment and the economy. Poor waste management as a result of littering and illegal dumping provides breeding ground for pests and diseases that have a negative health impact on both humans and livestock. It is also unsightly and can affect our tourism sector including our wildlife. In addition, litter results in blockages of storm-water drains thereby leading to unnecessary floods as well as contamination of our water sources, hence the need to take action now.

The economic value and contribution of the waste sector has been largely under-utilised with only a minimum percentage of our waste recycled in the country. We are therefore missing out on the potential rewards of recycling, such as improved quality of lives and jobs.  With a growing population, our municipalities will soon run out of space for waste disposal. It is crucial therefore that we devise innovative ways of re-using, recycling and recovering our waste and up-cycle it to increase its value.

Government’s Strategic Roadmap focuses, among others, on facilitating a vibrant private sector that will stimulate economic growth and recovery.

This is an opportunity for businesses to tap into the waste management space to create value products and jobs. Among the key growth sectors identified by our Strategic Roadmap are Education and ICT, Mining and Energy. Some of the waste that is littering our country can be converted into energy through technology and innovation. Industries have a role to play by exploiting low hanging fruits, so to speak, such as waste streams that could easily be up-cycled to high value goods like car tyres.

Today, I challenge all Emaswati to turn the tide and adopt waste management principles. This begins with behavioural change. We should recognise that littering is an environmental crime. All municipalities and towns are encouraged to initiate measures for waste separation at source. That is a service that is way overdue and, as such, prevents hundreds of Emaswati from playing their part in waste minimisation.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, mobilising the population for the clean-up campaign has not been an easy task. I am grateful to all our strategic partners, including the private sector, for their contribution towards this launch. The first step towards achieving the objective of a clean Eswatini is by declaring cleaning up the country as a national exercise.

It is for that reason that today we are announcing that the last Saturday of every month from 8:00 am to 10:00 am is from now dedicated as a national clean-up time.

All Emaswati are expected to clean their spaces, all public areas, their surroundings places of work, religious, educational, recreational, residential premises, vending sites, car parks, and road servitudes. It should be the duty of every citizen to clean their environment.  Cooperation and collaboration is essential in fulfilling this endeavour. As the African proverb says “if you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far go together”, companies should invest in their surrounding communities while community members should dedicate their time and energy to make their environment clean. That is the only way we can sustain this initiative.

I therefore place this exercise directly to Municipalities and traditional leaders. You should be champions of the exercise and be agents of change. Mobilise your communities and your wards to embrace this exercise and lead by example. The long-term benefits are worth the time and the effort. My gratitude goes to all companies that have pledged to support this initiative. I further challenge more companies, institutions and organisations to come forth and support the initiative to ensure its sustainability. Environmental sustainability is within our reach and it all starts with us today.

In essence, by protecting our environment and keeping Eswatini clean, we would have made remarkable strides in realizing the objectives of our Strategic Roadmap. A clean environment protects our agricultural produce and boosts tourism, all key sectors identified by our Roadmap.

This campaign also provides the necessary impetus for businesses to strive and spread to new ventures, thus boosting infrastructure investment and innovation as part of Government’s priority themes.

On behalf of His Majesty’s Government, I hereby officially launch the Clean Eswatini Campaign.

As a symbol of recognising the clean Eswatini campaign, I take this time to also launch the Eswatini Ribbon. This ribbon symbolises the country’s commitment to cleaning and greening our environment. It is a symbol of partnership and collaboration towards a litter free country. Companies that support this initiative, either financially or with cleaning material, will be recognised or awarded with the Clean Eswatini Token.

I am therefore throwing a challenge to all companies to rise and be counted, and we will soon have Clean Eswatini Champions. To all of you gathered here today, by honouring this invitation to attend this launch, you have already demonstrated your commitment to cleaning and greening the country. All of you are now therefore, the friends of the Clean Eswatini Campaign.

Thank you. Let’s keep Eswatini clean, and may the Almighty God bless us all.

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