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Development Account Projects

Sustainable waste management for African countries - Sustainable waste management for African countries

Background:

The project focuses on: (i) generation of financial resources at the local level (income and revenues for urban governments); (ii) improvement of the identification of the vulnerable groups living in poverty conditions; and (iii) development of new systems and instruments of expenditure with maximum social productivity. The focus on these issues derives from a regional strategy on mobilizing municipal economic, financial and human resources; the development of methodologies for optimal identification of basic needs; and the design of strategies for poverty reduction at the local level.

The center piece of urban policy to reduce poverty is closely related to the integration of the informal sectors; the recovery and democratic use of public space; the reversal of the trend towards concentration of wealth and opportunities, which often result in conflict between the rich and the poor; and income and employment generation for poor families. The main beneficiaries of the project are: (a) the urban poor and indirectly the urban community as a whole; and (b) urban institutions, in particular, municipalities.

The potential of local governments to reduce urban poverty as part of national decentralization processes in many countries in the region is often limited by their lack of resources, including their technical capacity. Therefore, the project focuses on mobilizing more resources for operational activities at the local level and increasing social and economic productivity in municipal investment programmes.

Objective:

To strengthen regional capacity for solid waste management in Africa, with emphasis on waste minimization and informal sector micro-enterprises that link income generation to environmental protection

Expected accomplishments:

Establishment of local waste management programmes, including concepts such as waste minimization, recycling, privatization of services and development of micro-enterprises linking income generation for the urban poor to environmental protection

Effects and Impact:

An external evaluation of the project highlighted the following impacts: The project implemented an Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Management programme in three cities in Africa: Malindi (Kenya), Ndola (Zambia) and Accra (Ghana). The same strategy was designed and adopted by all three cities which included rehabilitations of existing dump sites, provision of waste management equipment and vehicles, review of regulatory frameworks and capacity building amongst communities and local authorities. Pilot projects were also set-up to demonstrate urban waste recycling and environmentally sound waste management.

The project helped to develop partnerships between municipalities and communities and increased awareness through community participation and the involvement of youth groups through pilot demonstration in low income areas resulting in waste collection service in low-income settlements. Furthermore, the capacity of municipalities has been enhanced through training programmes, improvement in operation and maintenance and cross-country sharing of experiences. Legal and institutional frameworks were established. This is particularly relevant as legislation regarding solid waste in all three countries is poorly defined and applied, which has resulted in an ineffective governance structure with the public and private sector providing an isolated service. Private sector participation has been minimal due to this ambiguity in legislation, something the aforementioned frameworks is addressing.

The project additionally resulted in a noticeable improvement in the environment and health of individuals. For instance, existing dump sites have been secured and waste dumped in ditches and burnt has been controlled. Moreover, the project generated additional income for the parties through the composting and recycling of waste. Waste in these cities is circa 80% organic and therefore, the recycling activities and composting have also minimised the quantity of waste requiring land filling.