The Department’s anchor is in the Council Vision: i.e. “To make Matsapha a sustainable and livable investment town”. As an industrial town the focus of the town has been skewed towards economic development. The Department has however been established to normalize this and ensure that the environment and public health issues are factored into the development of the town.

Environment and public health issues loosely translate to environmental health. Environmental health is the interaction between the environment and the health of the people. While environmental health is distinct from environmental protection there are overlaps in many areas. Environmental health has been defined as "those aspects of human health determined by physical, biological, and social factors in the environment."

The Environment & Public Health Department is responsible for protecting and improving the health of the people of Matsapha and the quality of the environment. It aims at ensuring sustainable development by integrating public health and environmental issues in the development of the town.

The Department carries out its functions through the Environmental Management, Public Health and Mobile Clinic Units within the Department.

  1. Environmental Management

  2. a.) Environmental Conservation

    Greening and Landscaping

    One of the priority areas is the greening and landscaping of the town. Council intends to provide as many gardens and trees as possible essentially for their environmental benefits. Benefits include:

    • enhancement of the overall appearance of the town
    • mitigation of climate change as plants are sinks for carbon
    • vegetation filters the air and reduces pollutants
    • trees providing shade for walkways
    • trees and sidewalk planting capture storm water, thus reducing storm water runoff which in turn reduces strain on the towns ser infrastructure
    • Street trees buffer pedestrians from vehicular traffic and reduce glare by shading roadways

    Invasive alien plant species control

    Invasive alien plant species were declared a national disaster a few years ago. Matsapha has taken up the challenge and integrated the control of invasive alien plant species into its activities. Problematic species in Matsapha are Chromeolena sp., Lantana sp., Melia sp., Solenium sp., Senna sp., Ceasalpina sp., and Psidium sp.

    b.) Environmental Assessment and Auditing

    The Department is instrumental in ensuring that all new developments in Matsapha undergo the environmental assessment process and existing establishments that are likely to pose adverse environmental effects are required to conduct environmental audits. The Environment Management Act, 2002 and Environmental Audit, Assessment and Review Regulations, 2000 are legal instruments that mandate environmental audits and assessments. This is done in partnership with in the Swaziland Environment Authority.

    c.) Pollution Control and Chemicals Management

    Regulate air pollution

    The local authority is also responsible for the control of air pollution within the urban area.

Regulate water pollution

Monitoring of the Lusushwana River

The Lusushwana River is the main river system in Matsapha and it supplies the Industrial site with water for industrial, domestic and recreational use. As a recipient of effluent from some industries monitoring of the Lusushwana is essential.

Studies have shown that Lusushwana water enters Matsapha already polluted. As the river passes through the town a mosaic of activities add to the pollution. This indicates that industries in Matsapha have some work in pollution control.

Monitoring companies’ processes and effluent management

Some company processes have by-products which if not managed result in environmental pollution so they have to be monitored closely.

Regulate land pollution

Council is also responsible for the regulation and control of land degradation through chemical and other hazardous substances spillage. The polluter pays principle is strictly applied by Council against anyone who pollutes the environment.

d.) Solid Waste Management

Street Cleansing

In the quest to keep Matsapha clean, on a daily basis our work force picks litter along all the streets of Matsapha. This is then disposed of at the landfill. Also, Council has installed pedestrians litter bins strategically around the town to curb littering.

Landfill management

The Matsapha Landfill was designed in 1995 and is based on an engineered cell system with a maximum capacity of 229 944 total compacted tonnage, occupying a volume of 320 000 m3. The total area of the landfill is approximately 5 hectares.

This area caters for storing top soil and cover material, composting and engineered landfill cells and a leachate pond. On a daily basis, general waste is deposited, compacted and covered. The weighbridge is also another component of landfill which facilitates for levying for the use of the landfill.