Seychelles to address solid waste management through $5 million soft loan from World Bank |06 October 2023
Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal to address the solid waste management through a soft loan worth $5 million from the World Bank.
When outlining the raison d’être of the project, Vice-President Ahmed Afif said the first component is to improve the solid waste management system and the second component is to provide the enabling environment to promote waste reduction, through engagement with the private sector and the community.
Mr Afif said Seychelles produces around 90 million tonnes of waste annually from the amount of cartons, plastics, metal and glass products it imports, which poses a major issue for the country.
According to him, the landfill is already full, and it is not being managed properly leading to fires and pollution.
Mr Afif said despite having a waste collection system in place, and recycling of certain waste such as PET bottles and aluminium cans since 2008 which had reduced the amount of such waste to the landfill to date by 45 million and 35 million respectively, more needs to be done to manage waste in the country.
“The $5 million soft loan will assist the country to get technical expertise, as well as better manage the landfill,” he stated, adding the country would also learn best practices.
Cabinet has also approved the Policy on the Extended Producer Responsibility for the Sustainable Management of Waste scheme to minimise waste in line with the Solid Waste Master Plan 2020-2035.
The Extended Producer Responsibility involves the manufacturers, importers, and distributors, taking full responsibility for their products throughout their lifecycle. This approach enables producers to find innovative ways to reduce material use, develop reusable products, or manage materials at their end-of-life by recycling and reintegrating them into the economy in order to minimise waste.
VP Afif said instead of recycling only PET bottles, aluminium cans and metals, which was the case presently, the country would also explore ways to recycle other wastes to reduce the amount being dumped on the landfill, such as encouraging composting, and separate all other wastes such as plastic containers, glass, among others.
“If we can do that with other products that also come in plastic or cans, we can make a difference.”
Cabinet has also approved the Water Resources Management Bill (2023). The Seychelles Water Resources Bill aims to enhance water management in the country for economic and social well-being while preserving the ecosystem.
According to VP Afif, 43 million tonnes of water is consumed daily and the country needs to look at sustainable ways of managing the resource, which is mainly being produced and distributed by the Public Utilities Corporation.
However, he said the Bill would cover other sources of production such as desalination, households which get their water sources directly from rivers, bore holes, and any other companies other than PUC which may produce water in future.
“We need to have a system that will guide all the resources in the country, to ensure it is done in an equitable manner and we must ensure that water production is up to standard,” he stated.
During Wednesday’ meeting, Cabinet also approved for the drafting of regulations under the Electricity Bill (2023). These include the Independent Power Producers (IPP) Regulation which outlines how new generating capacities will be procured by government in a fair and transparent manner; License (Energy) Regulation sets out the process to be followed to enter the electricity sector more specifically to perform any electricity-related activities including the conditions to carry out those activities; Tariff Regulation will provide a clear framework for tariff setting for all parties involved in the sector; Distributed Generation System Regulation will provide legal framework for renewable energy systems installed on the distribution level; and Consumer Service Regulation is related to the relationship of the Licensee (PUC) with its customers, with regard to the commercial quality of service and conditions of services to be provided.
Patsy Canaya/Press release from State House