Report by Mr. Thomas Kolokoto from South Africa:Challenging against Trash Heaps overflowing in Mahikeng Town(Inspiring Actions of JICA Training Participants)

Mr. Kolokoto (leftmost) and waste collection crew

Mr. Thomas Kolokoto,
Provincial Project Manager, Infrastructure and Economic Development, National Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Training Title :Mega-city Environmental Policy and Environmental Management System
Period :May 6, 2013 to June 22, 2013
Imprinting Partner Organization :Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC)
JICA Coordinator (Translator/Facilitator) :Ms. Hitomi Katahashi

Participating in the Training in Japan

Waste all over the area (Littered and illegally dumped)

Mr. Thomas Kolokoto, Provincial Project Manager, Infrastructure and Economic Development, National Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, participated in the JICA training program MEGA-CITY ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM from May-June (8 weeks) this year in Osaka, Japan. This training program aims at developing human capacities in target countries to make and implement measures against environmental problems such as air pollution, water contamination, noise problems, and increasing waste amount caused by economic and industrial development.
Based on his new knowledge and analysis gained from the training, Mr. Kolokoto recognized that one of the urgent priority issues was proper management of waste, which was littered and illegally dumped all over the city. Then, at the end of the training, he made his action plan “Improvement of Solid Waste Collection through Coordination and Strengthening of Local Government and Citizens Participation”. After returning to South Africa, he not only reported his plan to colleagues and supervisors but also has taken actions steadily toward achieving the goal.

Taking Actions in South Africa

Garbage crew are working at a collection point in total disorder. Unsorted waste stinks from rotten meat.

Recently he, together with his co-workers, carried out the Time and Motion Study in the state capital city Mahikeng. They followed a garbage truck to measure the time needed for each lap of collection work. While they followed the truck, they also examined the behavior of collection crew/users and the condition of waste dumping sites. The data and analysis from the survey was reported at the stakeholders meeting later. He proposed the following points for immediate improvement there.
- to improve the efficiency of collection work (shortening the collection time, reviewing the team formation, work sift, and collection route)
- to improve the final disposal sites (construction of scatter control fences, installation of a weighbridge, by-law enforcement)
- to promote reuse and recycle (reviewing and coordinating the recovery system of potential resources by community women’s groups, waste pickers, and others)
Mr. Kolokoto says that he will make a detailed action plan based on above and will take concrete actions towards a better solid waste management.

Implementing the Action Plan :towords better world

Immediately after his returning to home country, Mr. Kolokoto revised his original action plan he had made in Japan, and asked us for some technical advice for a better outcome. Responding to his request, Mr. Ryo Hiraga, Ex Research Institute Ltd., who had given him a lecture during the training in Japan about Policy on Solid Waste Management of Osaka City, Japan, has been kindly supporting him on a regular basis as a technical advisor.
Mr. Hiraga highly appreciates Mr. Kolokoto’s ability for observing conditions, analyzing data, and taking actions. Mr. Hiraga says “I strongly wish he will keep his efforts until he achieves the goal. From my experience as a JICA Expert on Solid Waste Management in different countries, I understand that the following steps would be the most difficult phase to overcome. Thus, I am really willing to give him further support together with JICA so that he will keep his motivation to tackle against his waste problems.”
It is our great pleasure and real treasure for JICA, which invites training participants from worldwide, to receive such a good report from an ex-participant. This news from South Africa has assured the importance of keeping communication with ex-participants and giving follow-up support to them. Moreover, JICA is seeking ways to give further support to ex-participants so that they can keep tackling the problems in their countries.

Reported by Tomomi Kitajima, Program Division 2, JICA Kansai