What are the capacity development gaps and needs from grassroots to high level to help address solid waste management in sub-Saharan Africa and how does addressing these needs help bridge the mitigation gap?

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  • ecm
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What are the capacity development gaps and needs from grassroots to high level to help address solid waste management in sub-Saharan Africa and how does addressing these needs help bridge the mitigation gap?

Solid waste management involves theparticipation of all stakeholders regardless of the position/status/portfolio
in the society or community. This is so because in one way or another every
individual generates waste which has to be properly managed.  However, this has not been the case in the
sub-Saharan Africa. Consequently, the management of solid waste has proved to
be challenge and has not attracted the attention it needs as a critical
component in our day-to-day livelihood. To this effect waste becomes a nuisance
to the society and eventually leads environmental pollution and other dieses.

Hence, I feel these are some of the interventions that can help address the gaps and needs from grassroot to high level in improving solid waste management in the sub-Saharan Africa particularly in Zambian context: 

Policy and legislative capacity for implementing Agenda 2030: The Zambian government must recognize the urgent need to increase the financial base of the local
authorities through ministry of Local Government to facilitate the mainstreaming
of SDGs in national plans, sector-based policies/strategies, local planning and
bottom-up processes (grassroots to high level) with regards to solid waste management.

Institutional capacity:
There is need to strengthen the capacity and collaboration between institutions
directly charged with responsibility to manage and control solid waste
management grid with other stakeholders. The enhancement of such attracts a central
coordination, multi-sectoral engagement, national and local collaboration, which
results into partnerships with civil society, academia, private sector and or
engagement with the public. Further, such interventions improve the levels of
awareness on the importance of solid waste management.

Monitoring and reporting capacity: This is done in my country (Zambia) however, challenges in localizing targets/indicators, data collection/availability, data information
systems/monitoring platforms and quality of reporting/progress monitoring
leaves much to be desired.

Human resource and leadership capacity: This relates to the inadequate human resource capacity, both technical and managerial and the need for sensitizing policy makers/decision.
There is need to have waste managers who are well able and have the technical
knowhow on the significance of proper solid waste management trained in high
numbers.  

Financing capacity: Solid waste management is not a priority and this has severely affected the functioning
of the local authority. Because of inadequate financing, efficiency and effectiveness
of the solid waste managers has been compromised. There is need to address
financing gaps through resource mobilization and strengthened public finance
processes.

Public awareness and participation (grassroot level): Information, education and communication are essential for creating public awareness and ensuring community
participation. However, efforts to enable local bodies to take up awareness
campaigns in their respective areas and educate community in refraining from
littering on the streets and practicing storage of waste at source in a
segregated manner, home composting and effectively participate in Primary
collection of waste by the municipality is not done consistently as expected.
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  • nalillian
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Re: What are the capacity development gaps and needs from grassroots to high level to help address solid waste management in sub-Saharan Africa and how does addressing these needs help bridge the mitigation gap?

Great subject..which solid management models have we offered the different lifestyle categories? Would be interesting to read about the linkage between practice and research efforts. Have we reflected on the non functional theoretical yet plausible system designs I'm in total agreement about financing needs and an appreciation of return on invested funds on the form on ripple effect can turn the dice for yes or no additional funds to solid waste. Impressive summary. Thank you
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  • Elisabeth
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  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
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Re: What are the capacity development gaps and needs from grassroots to high level to help address solid waste management in sub-Saharan Africa and how does addressing these needs help bridge the mitigation gap?

Hi Emmanuel (emc),

Welcome to the SuSanA discussion forum! Is your post about an assignment or a thesis that you're doing? The list of gaps that you have identified looks pretty comprehensive. Are you going to look at this at the city level or at the country level? If at the city level, can you do some benchmarking to compare cities where this is done well compared to cities that are lagging behind? Sometimes it feels like we are reinventing the wheel. After all, solid waste management "works" in some cities/countries but not in others. Why is that, what are the main differences? Perhaps someone has already researched that and published it.

Regards,
Elisabeth
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(formerly with financial support by WSSCC, now SHF)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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