On the 2nd of September 2020 the 68th Cairo Climate Talk took place virtually via Zoom on the topic of: “Water Pollution, Medical Waste and PPE: How do we deal with Covid-19 related solid waste?” Solid waste is posing a major threat to the environment, livelihoods and human health. According to the World Bank 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste are already produced yearly and ongoing pandemic mitigation measures increase the usage of non-recyclable waste such as Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and single use plastics dramatically.
Uwe Gehlen, Head of Cooperation, who opened the panel discussion on behalf of the German Embassy, mentioned that it was not only technology of efficiency that led to German’s elaborated waste management system, but an increasing awareness and public dialogue about environmental protection beginning in the 1980s, an approach that could be beneficial for Egypt, too. German-Egyptian partnerships in both the procurement of PPE and the raising of awareness through campaigns and training programs have already contributed to protecting waste- and medical-workers during the phase of heightened exposure. This cooperation was commended by both project partners Ruth Erlbeck, Head of the National Solid Waste Management Programme Egypt (NSWMP) on behalf of the GIZ and Eng. Essam Abdelaziz, Manager of Hazardous Medical Waste Management, on behalf of the MOE.
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