The Association of Zambians living in Ethiopia (AZE) has applauded government’s move to relaunch the ‘make Zambia clean, green and healthy’ campaign.

And AZE says it’s time for Zambia to move towards replacing plastics with environmentally friendly materials as is the case in other African countries.

Meanwhile, AZE chairperson Dr Jack Jones Zulu has asked government to ensure that the ‘make Zambia clean, green and healthy’ campaign is multi-sectoral in order to cater for all interest groups.

President Edgar Lungu had relaunched the ‘make Zambia clean, green and healthy campaign’ on April 28, 2018, where he called on all citizens to embrace the initiative and change their mind-set if Zambia was to become clean, green and healthy.

According to a statement issued by Zambia’s first secretary to Ethiopia Inutu Mwanza, Dr Zulu was speaking after holding an AZE quarterly meeting where he commended President Lungu for the initiative.

“Zambia has in the past been in the international media for wrong reasons such as the outbreak of cholera, associated with poor water and sanitation. We are hopeful that this wrong picture will be reversed and erased as the campaign progresses. Ultimately, we need to move from mere treatment to prevention of cholera and water-borne diseases through concerted community action,” Dr Zulu said in the statement released, Monday.

And the Zambian community in Ethiopia, through their chairperson Dr Zulu, asked government to ensure that the campaign was multi-sectoral in order to cater for all interest groups.

The association said Zambia boasted of certain values like Christianity, which clearly stated that ‘cleanliness was next to Godliness’.

Meanwhile, the association urged government to revive ward committees in order for councillors to effectively engage with communities.

“Councillors play a critical role in ensuring that communities are mobilized and informed of all programmes that the government initiates, therefore, ward development committees that existed in the past must be revived. The association welcomes government’s policy to devolve and decentralize local authorities’ functions to community level to improve service delivery in particular, garbage collection, street lighting and maintaining and beautifying of the environment,” they stated.

The association further urged government to introduce incentives for the cleanest wards and towns in order to encourage more participation from the communities.

They emphasized that there was need to manage the use of plastics in the country and suggested that it was time that Zambia moved towards replacing plastics with environmentally-friendly materials.

The association further suggested that the ‘keep Zambia clean’ campaign should be extended to schools so that the idea of keeping the country clean was inculcated in children at a tender age.

They said laws should be stiffened and strongly enforced in line with the spirit of the campaign.

Meanwhile, the association emphasized the need for vendors to trade in designated places to ensure hygiene, while generating revenue’s for government through levies.