Botswana’s Controversial Incinerator: Is it the Answer or a Danger?


Botswana is grappling with an enormous burden of waste, leading to environmental and health concerns. To address this, the government has implemented ambitious plans including the controversial construction of a massive incinerator in the capital Gaborone. This project has sparked fierce debate, with some hailing it as a solution to waste management while others warn of its potentially devastating consequences.

Arguments for the Incinerator:

  • Waste reduction: Proponents claim the incinerator will significantly reduce the volume of waste sent to landfills, promoting environmental cleanliness.
  • Energy generation: The process generates heat and electricity, potentially offering a renewable energy source.
  • Job creation: The project creates employment opportunities in construction and waste management sectors.
  • Public health: Incineration eliminates harmful pathogens and reduces air pollution compared to uncontrolled dumping or burning.

Arguments against the Incinerator:

  • Health risks: Emissions release carcinogenic and harmful pollutants, posing a significant threat to air quality and public health.
  • Environmental damage: The process generates toxic ash, raising concerns about its disposal and potential contamination of soil and water.
  • Cost and feasibility: The project is exceptionally expensive, raising questions about long-term cost-effectiveness.
  • Alternative solutions: Organic waste can be composted or reused, while biodegradable waste can be easily recycled.

The Dilemma:

While Botswana desperately needs a sustainable waste management solution, the incinerator’s potential for environmental and health damage cannot be ignored. Ideally, a combination of approaches is needed, including:

  • Promoting recycling and waste reduction at the source.
  • Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
  • Exploring sustainable disposal options such as composting and landfill gas capture.


The Botswana incinerator is a contentious issue requiring careful consideration. While it may provide a temporary solution for waste management, its potential for harm necessitates a holistic and sustainable approach. By prioritizing alternative solutions and mitigating risks, Botswana can find a more balanced and long-term solution to its waste management challenges.


1. What are the specific pollutants released by the incinerator?

The incinerator will release oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other harmful pollutants.

2. How will the incinerator’s ash be disposed of?

The disposal method for the toxic ash remains unclear, raising environmental concerns.

3. Have alternative solutions been considered alongside the incinerator?

While alternatives are mentioned in the article, Botswana’s government has primarily focused on the incinerator project.

4. What is the estimated cost of the incinerator project?

The exact cost has not been publicly disclosed, but estimates suggest it runs into billions of Pula.


Comments are closed

Recent Posts