Durban - Despite recent sewage woes in the city, Durban has been been honoured with an Honorary Climate and Clean Air Award.
The award was conferred on Durban for its Durban Landfill Conservancies project by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in Bonn on November 12, 2017.
Mayor Zandile Gumede said this is indeed a proud moment for Durban and eThekwini Municipality.
“Durban’s recent winning streak is indicative of the world class city that we are. Our officials are experts in the field and our global partnerships and networks mean that there is continuous sharing and learning of best practise," said Gumede.
"Being bestowed this award, shows that Durban is serious about climate change and cares about the impacts it has on the community," she added.
"By making changes to the way we operate and by reducing our carbon foot print, we are leading by example and building a new resilient city.
"By employing and empowering nearby communities the city is not only creating employment but developing an army of green warriors that will spread the message at grass roots level. Well done to the team.”
According to eThekwini spokesperson, Tozi Mthethwa, the project is a successful landfill that reduces emissions of methane, provides safe waste disposal, employs workers from surrounding communities, and produces electricity for the local grid.
"Its landfill gas project was the first in Africa and is still one of the most successful in the world. The project has also provided assistance to several other countries and cities within and outside Africa, proving the learning role that Durban is playing in the global arena," said Mthethwa.
The Climate and Clean Air Awards recognise exceptional contributions and actions to implement projects, programmes, policies and practices that reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), such as black carbon, methane, hydrofluorocarbons and tropospheric ozone.
Reducing these dangerous air and climate pollutants is key to improving air quality, slowing the rate of climate change and provides multiple benefits for health, ecosystems and the sustainable development goals.
Mthethwa said the Durban Landfill Conservancies project shows the potential that well managed waste systems have for reducing short-lived climate pollutants.
"The improved landfills have also prevented liquid runoff from polluting groundwater, reduced odour, and prevented the breeding of disease carrying animals like flies and rats. Green areas filled with indigenous plants create buffer zones surrounding the landfill and some 700,000 trees have been planted," Mthethwa added.