An integrated waste management approach as an alternative domestic solid waste management strategy for the growing African urban environments: a case study of Gaborone, Botswana
Mupara, Shamiso Winnet
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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Domestic Solid waste management in Gaborone, as in most of African cities has become a daunting task for urban practioners to tackle. Rapid urbanisation without the matched increase in service provision has exerted pressure on the existing Gaborone City Council’s waste management system. Improving the system by increasing the number of waste trucks or the frequency of waste collection in residential areas does not however appear to solve the emerging problems. Therefore the main aim of this study was to investigate whether an integrated domestic solid waste management system can be adopted to solve the various problems associated with poor domestic solid waste management systems in Gaborone. The specific objectives of the study were to: investigate the existing Domestic Solid Waste Management system; identify factors that determine Domestic Solid Waste Management practices; identify the main stakeholders in Domestic Solid Waste Management; and assess the feasibility of adopting the Integrated Domestic Solid Waste Management Strategy in Gaborone. Case studies from several successful integrated domestic solid waste management projects in other countries, reports from books, field observations, and responses to questionnaires and interview schedules were used while statistics, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs constituted the analytical basis for data presentation and interpretation. The hypothesis of the study was that domestic solid waste management practices in Gaborone are determined by socio-economic, policy and perceptual factors. Field observations and statistical tests were employed to identify the major determinants of waste management practices and how these could help in providing viable solutions to the problem. The study findings showed that socio-economic factors like, educational level, gender coupled with location of residential area determine waste management practices like, recycling, reuse and waste reduction. The study recommended, among other things, that an Integrated Domestic Solid Waste Management System be implemented in Gaborone and Botswana as a whole. It further recommended the formulation of waste management policies that are education and awareness- centered and the implementation of these policies. These policies should have the practice of 3Rs (recycle, reuse and reduce) as a priority. It is strongly recommended that all stakeholders be involved in decision- making where domestic solid waste management is concerned. A more participatory approach is thus needed instead of the existing top-down-approach. Other stakeholders like NGOs, residents and Recycling Organisations should participate in helping the city council to conduct education and awareness campaign programmes for the residents on the requirements of the by laws pertaining to sustainable domestic waste management practices.
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