Improving the urban environment with organisations of poor women and men
Community-based waste management
Waste management still remains one of the biggest challenges facing Zimbabwe today. There is still a widespread lack of resources; the technical and administrative capacity to properly implement sound mechanisms for waste management is still weak.
Community participation in waste management is vital.
It is still worrying that Zimbabwe, like most countries in Southern Africa, still lacks effective and appropriate technologies in waste management.
Even worse, the country's deteriorating infrastructure has resulted in poor waste management which has seen accumulation of waste and outbreaks of diseases.
In a country with serious waste management problems, Practical Action Southern Africa, in 2005, initiated the Improving the Urban Environment with Organisations of Poor Women and Men project.
With funding from Comic Relief, the project operated in Chitungwiza, the peri-urban settlement of Epworth and Mbare (Harare). Working in partnership with community-based organisations (CBOs) and local authorities, the project used an integrated approach in addressing waste management challenges facing the three settlements. It focused on improving the urban environment through developing sustainable, community-managed models for water, sanitation and waste management services.
The project hinged on building the capacities of communities to improve their environment, create employment and generate income from waste management. This resulted in the formation of CBOs engaged in income generating activities around provision of low cost waste management services, waste collection, re-use and recycling. Since 2005, eight CBOs with a total membership of 368 individuals have been established and/or supported by the project.
These CBOs have formed micro-enterprises providing low-cost waste management services, providing incomes and cleaner environments.
Regulatory Framework in Waste Management workshop report, 23 March 2006
Regulatory Framework and Policy Review report, December 2005
Emerging Issues in Urban Waste Management workshop proceedings, 10 February 2006
Community-based waste management in rural areas project report
An introduction to this project also appeared in the March 2008 edition of Appropriate Initiatives