Nicole Fornelli just finished a 6-month stint in Dar es Salaam as part of our SCI internship program.
The Kisiwani Environmental Group (KEG) is a community based organization (CBO) that collects waste in unplanned settlements within the Buguruni Ward of Ilala Municipality, in Dar es Salaam. About 70-90% of Dar es Salaam residents live in unplanned settlements with inadequate water supply, sewerage, drainage or access to roads. The three Municipalities of Dar es Salaam – Ilala, Temeke and Kinondoni – are responsible for waste collection within their jurisdictions; in which they contract private companies or community groups to collect waste from households, businesses and institutions. Waste collected is then transported to the Pugu dumpsite; which is costly for Municipalities.
Solid waste management in unplanned settlements is either non-existent or organised by community groups, such as the KEG. Due to the inaccessibility of roads, the KEG collects waste within unplanned settlements with the use of pushcarts. Waste is then taken to a transfer site and separated in to recyclables and residual waste; residual waste is then transported to the dump by the Municipality. As a result, the KEG plays a vital role in assisting the Ilala Municipality in collecting waste. However, many community groups lack equipment and skills, are not registered and have no system for collecting and accounting for revenue from households, businesses and institutions. Therefore, collection of revenue is a major challenge for the KEG.
In collaboration with Sustainable Cities International , the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA) and the Ilala Municipality, the KEG has developed a new Solid Waste Management Recycling and Composting Project. Through this project, the collaborating organizations aim to catalyze composting and recycling as an effective measure for generating revenue for the KEG, while reducing the amount of waste transferred to the city’s dumpsite, cutting down on Municipal costs.
On average, Dar es Salaam generates 4,100 tonnes of solid waste per day; only 39% of this waste is properly collected and disposed of to the dumpsite. In 2012, SCI, in collaboration with Ardhi University, undertook research at the KEG. This research confirms that up to 60% of waste collected is organic. By separating organic material and recyclables, the KEG reduces the amount of waste being transported to the dump, as well as increasing revenue through the selling of recyclables and compost; increasing their capacity to function as a viable business. In addition to increased capacity and revenue generating potential, the activities of the KEG have reduced incidences of disease amongst KEG workers, as well as in the Buguruni Ward. Furthermore, the KEG has provided employment opportunities to youth in the area, currently employing 26 youth.
The KEG stands as a leader in Solid Waste Management in Dar es Salaam. Not only has the KEG increased revenue and cut down on Municipal costs; it has had a profound impact on improving the environment through the recycling, reusing and reducing of solid waste.