The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) continues with its mandate of catching young people’s mantra to create an eco-conscious generation as Alaska Primary School won the provincial clean school competition.
The competition looked at schools with the best waste management plans in the province and the country at large.
They were mainly concentrating on school EMA club members and other students’ waste management at school.
Fire management and littering were the main concerns as schools battled it out at the provincial level.
This initiative is good for the younger generation as it has enabled them to have an eco-conscious mind, which will reduce litter and pollution in communities.
The Provincial Education and Publicity Officer said the competition was for educating students and changing the littering behavior of students through a whole school approach, and that Alaska Primary outperformed other schools in the province.
“Educating students about the effects of litter and influencing beliefs and attitudes are key steps towards behavior change and litter reduction in the community as a whole. This enables children, from a tender age, to have an eco-conscious mind when litter is thrown in a bin.
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“The Clean Schools competition aims at changing the littering behavior of students through a whole school approach,” said another PR officer.
Alaska Primary stood out because the school is litter-free, though they have yet to fully implement their school waste management policy.
Schools that exhibited their waste management plans include High 1, High 2, Emakonde, Chirorodziva, Chiepa Primary, Alaska High, and both Alaska Primaries.
The waste management and recycling project rollout is still in progress, and other schools were encouraged to participate in the following competitions:
The school headmaster, Ruben, was very proud of his EMA club members.
They started with seven students, but the number has grown significantly.
“I’m very proud that we started with seven pupils as EMA club members, but the number has grown leaps and bounds as we now have 50 members, 25 boys and 25 girls.
“We continue learning with the kids, and kids come up with ideas for the club, and they do awareness campaigns, which move along with President Emmerson D. Mnangagwa’s campaign of National Clean-Up,” he said.
He also added that Alaska Primary School has a junior minister of environment, climate, tourism, and hospitality industry who leads the EMA Club members and the rest of the students in waste management and all environmental issues at the school.
The school was happy with the price of color-coded bins, as they will help improve their waste management at school as they will categorize the litter accordingly and properly.
Alaska Primary School is going to engage the local waste recycling company, Kudiwa Waste, on how best they can manage their waste and also give EMA club members a rare chance to see how recycling is done.
“We have some waste that is not waste, but it can be recycled, which in turn can reduce some unnecessary expenses, and these are some things for which we will engage the local waste company.”
The school EMA club members were in a jovial mood as they also received their personal gifts from EMA, and they vowed to continue to preach the gospel that litter belongs in the bins as it causes diseases and imbalances in the ecosystem.
Recycling innovations and waste management had been an area of concern, and seeing local schools take up the challenge to tackle it is very exhilarating, said one of the adjudicators.
Another stakeholder, Ian Lora, said the school competition should be held often and stakeholders must partner with the young people to create a safer environment.
A representative of the ministry who spoke on behalf of the minister said EMA is doing a significant job and working with schools to tackle these problems is a great initiative, and their effort will not go unnoticed.
“EMA is doing a great job, and it is this competition that brings problem-solving solutions to environmental issues. As we have seen primary schools go head-to-head with secondary schools and win the trophy, these efforts as the ministry assure you that they will not go unnoticed,” she said.
She went on to ensure that the government will channel funds towards the ministry of education and individuals who have innovations of some sort.
Environmental issues should not be taken lightly, especially with the younger generations, as they are the ones to face the consequences. It is time to safeguard our environment, he added.
Issues of global warming, waste management, and recycling are taking center stage in the world, and media organizations and government bodies are working day and night to find solutions; hence, the EMA initiative should be fully supported.
The competition was held at the local school and attracted a large audience of parents, schoolchildren,school officials, and stakeholders.