Guatemala forges agreement on national waste management strategy

Bnamericas Published: Saturday, June 04, 2016
Guatemala forges agreement on national waste management strategy

The government of Guatemala and municipal representatives have come to an agreement to join forces on a national policy for the proper management of solid waste in the country.

Guatemala's environmental and natural resources ministry MARN proposed a policy on integral management of waste products and solid waste to President Jimmy Morales, city mayors and representatives of 340 municipalities.

With agreement on this policy, officials hope to reduce and avoid further contamination of the country's water resources.

One of the priorities of the new policy is to eradicate clandestine dumps or landfills, minister of the environment Sydney Samuels was reported as saying on the presidential website.

Discussions with local leaders also revolved around the potential extension until 2019 of the deadline for the construction of municipal treatment plants.

As part of the proposed waste management policy, Samuels pointed to the availability of technical support for municipalities to help them achieving the goals.

Guatemalan municipal development institute Infom will provide technical support for the construction of the treatment plants, while state bank Crédito Hipotecario Nacional (CHN) will reduce interest rates for these works and will coordinate with international institutions to make funds available.

The president of CHN, Luis Velásquez, said 1.5bn quetzales (US$196mn) are available in long-term financing to build the required infrastructure and 500mn quetzales are available at present.

Implementation of the waste management proposal is expected to be carried out over the next 15 years.

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