Zambians need to stop littering and change their attitudes towards maintaining a clean and healthy environment, says President Edgar Lungu.

The Head of State made this appeal when he received an award from the Zambia Institute of Environmental Health Institute at State House, Thursday, for his achievements in the promotion of environmental health services through the re-launch and active participation in the “Make Zambia Clean, Green and Healthy Campaign”; the banning of plastic packaging material below 30 microns; the banning of uncontrolled street vending; enactment of the Solid Waste Regulation and Management Act, No. 20 of 2018 and the robust advocacy in the prevention of non-communicable diseases, evidenced by regular morning jogging and aerobic exercises.

Speaking during the event, President Lungu observed that there was need for a mindset change among Zambians on maintaining a clean and healthy environment.

“As a nation, we need to do more to achieve a clean, green and healthy nation. It is my wish, as President of the Republic of Zambia, to turn this country into a clean, green and healthy nation. This can only be done if, as a country, we change our mindsets and start seeing filth where there is filth and ensure we clean our environment. Can we, as a nation, stop habits like throwing liter all over? Can we plant a tree instead of cutting that one? Let me engage the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation to heighten their engagements with the Zambia Institute of Environmental Health,” President Lungu said.

He also challenged the Institute to be more visible and active in mitigating waterborne diseases.

“You are trained to look at water, hygiene and sanitation and yet you are not consulted for professional advice. It’s only when we have outbreaks of cholera and other waterborne diseases that we hear of you, you should take your position, we should hear of you every day! We drink water every day, and we bath every day. Health Minister, (Dr Chitalu Chilufya), let’s ensure these institutions are elevated to positions of relevance or else incidences of diseases like cholera and dysentery will continue following us. Our fight against communicable diseases can only be won if we make use of such institutions,” said President Lungu.

And Institute of Environmental Health president Jeremiah Chaka thanked the Head of State for his commitment towards the fight against communicable and non-communicable diseases in Zambia.