World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries and the Republic of Congo’s Minister of Forests, Economy, Sustainable Development and Environment, Mrs Rosalie Matondo, marked this special day with a visit to the five Brazzaville Districts’ markets: Ouenze, Talangai, Ngambio, Bourreau and Poto-poto.
Her Excellency was accompanied not only by high ranking municipal and Government officials, such as the Mayors of Ouenze, Talangai, Mfilou, Makelekele and Poto-poto but, also, by Averda Congo’s representatives. In pure traditional Congolese spirit, this high level delegation was greeted on the 6th of June 2016 with song and dance by the people selling their produce in the markets.
Averda Congo’s impact in cleaning the markets of Brazzaville has had an immediate and profound impact not just on the daily trade activities but, also, on the level of cleanliness and hygiene of the trading areas across the main five markets of the capital. Once Averda started its operations in Brazzaville, benefiting of the constant support of the Municipality, other public authorities and the traders themselves, the public markets became unaffected by the heavy rainfall usually encountered in West African countries: the waste would no longer flood the drains, thus causing localised flooding, and the foot traffic in and out of the market would become much easier.
Considering that over 11,000 traders’ tables are present across the five Brazzaville markets, the direct negative impact of an inappropriate waste disposal and accumulation was immediate. The happiness of the market traders who came and presented their appreciation and gratitude to both the ministerial delegation and Averda’s representatives was so genuine and palpable that impromptu songs and dances accompanied the traders’ appreciation.
I have never encountered so much genuine happiness, joy and gratitude for a service which, in the majority of developed countries often passes unnoticed. To many of us, waste collection and disposal are services we seldom think about and rarely consider as being critical. Their criticality and importance can be seen in places like Brazzaville where the impact Averda made – both in terms of cleanliness and trade activities – is outstanding and where the community’s support, in this case the traders’, is paramount.’