October 15, 2018
From August 6 to 24, 2018, a Knowledge Co-Creation Program was held at JICA Yokohama on the topic "Sustainable Solid Waste Management for African Countries." 11 representatives from 11 countries participated in the program: Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia.
The participants inspecting a waste collection truck together with kindergarteners
On August 16, during the program period in Japan, JICA Participants visited the Tsuzuki Office of the Yokohama Resources & Waste Recycling Bureau, the Tsuzuki Ward Office, and the Tsuzuki Multicultural & Youth Plaza to observe local public awareness and environmental education activities conducted in Tsuzuki Ward, with the aim of enhancing their understanding of local residents' role in environmental administration.
The participants and kindergarteners observing skits
3 JICA Yokohama interns accompanied the JICA Participants on these visits and wrote a report on their experiences: Mai Aoki (Yokohama National University), Arisa Sumitomo (Ferris University), and Kana Fujiwara (Yokohama City University).
Creating air cannons out of plastic bottles
The Tsuzuki Office of the Resources & Waste Recycling Bureau's local public awareness activities include the invitation of local kindergarteners to come learn about environmental issues. These sessions are taught by the staff of the office themselves, who are normally engaged in waste collection work. Local Tsuzuki Ward residents who work to promote environmental projects as community involvement activities also participate in these sessions.
Before the tour began, there was an explanation of the City of Yokohama's "Yokohama 3R Dream!" Solid Waste Management plan that taught the importance of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) and reducing food waste.
Next, participants viewed an educational skit on reducing waste through proper trash sorting, performed by local Tsuzuki Ward residents who work to promote environmental projects. JICA Participants expressed surprise at how enthusiastically the kindergarteners participated in this skit, such as by yelling out correct trash sorting methods.
There was also an "eco-craft" segment in which participants made air cannons out of used plastic bottles. Participants were able to have fun learning about the 3Rs and engage in international exchange.
Courtesy call on the Mayor of Tsuzuki Ward
JICA Participants then paid a courtesy call to Tsuzuki Ward Mayor Hajime Nakano. They expressed to him their admiration regarding actually seeing the city's environmental initiatives in action after having learned about those initiatives during JICA program. The mayor explained the roles of the Tsuzuki Ward Administration Office and discussed the deepening of the relationship between Tsuzuki Ward and Botswana since the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in 2008. He offered as an example the Tsuzuki-Botswana Children's Interchange Exhibition held to promote exchange between Yokohama Municipal Chigasaki Elementary School and Ben Tema Elementary School
After the tour, the JICA Participants immediately started to develop plans for implementation after return to their countries. In the final stages of the program in Japan, the Participants made action plans for implementation back home, and it is expected that they will be able to conduct sustainable waste management in their home countries.
[Interviews with JICA Participants]
Edgar, a participant from Zambia, said that he participated in this program with the aim of improving awareness toward Solid Waste Management among residents in his home country, but he was given a wholly new perspective by seeing Tsuzuki Ward's efforts to educate kindergarteners and improve public awareness regarding waste reduction and proper sorting. He said that after returning home, he hoped to work to build an environment in which waste treatment education targeting not just adults but also children, the next generation of society, could be actively conducted.
[Impressions from the interns]
Commemorative photo with the kindergarteners
Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of detailed action guidelines that were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. The SDGs are outlined in an outcome document titled "Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". The agenda includes 169 specific targets grouped in 17 separate goals to be accomplished.
This JICA program is expected to contribute primarily to two of the 17 SDGs; namely, Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.