Virtual Workshop On Waste Management Held

The International Growth Center (IGC) and the Ethiopian Policy Studies Institute (PSI) organized a webinar on " Challenges and Potential Measures of Solid Waste Management" on March 9, 2023, from 1:30 pm (East African Time) to 4:00 pm.

The webinar organizers explained that Ethiopia, like many other developing countries, faces significant challenges related to poor solid waste management. These include non-existent waste collection systems, inefficient disposal, inadequate services, limited recycling capacity, weak laws and lack of enforcement, and air, water, and soil pollution.

In the webinar, three experienced panelists shared their experiences. They were Oliver Harman (Ph.D.), the University of Oxford and city economist for the International Growth Center (IGC), Getahun Garedew (Ph.D.), Director General, Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Ethiopia, and Eshetu Lemma (Ph.D.), Director General, Addis Ababa City Administration Cleansing Management Agency, Ethiopia

H.E. Professor Beyene opened the webinar with his remarks on the topic. Professor Beyene said that solid waste management is a critical aspect of maintaining the health and well-being of our communities and the environment. However, it is also a complex and difficult topic that requires careful planning and implementation.

The challenges of solid waste management are many and varied. First, there is the problem of the sheer volume of waste generated. With population growth and economic development, waste generation is also increasing, putting pressure on the existing waste management infrastructure. In addition to the volume, the variety of waste types generated also poses a challenge. From household waste to industrial waste to hazardous waste and electronic waste, each type of waste requires a different disposal method and, in many cases, special facilities.

Another challenge in solid waste management is the environmental impact of improper waste disposal. When wastes are not properly disposed of, they can contaminate the soil, air, and water, leading to health problems and environmental pollution. This is especially true for hazardous waste, which can have long-lasting effects on ecosystems and human health. In addition, solid waste management is often hampered by poor governance, lack of resources, and inadequate infrastructure. In many developing countries, for example, waste management is not a priority, and there are often limited resources available for waste collection and disposal. In some cases, waste is simply disposed of in open areas or water bodies, resulting in pollution and health risks. Many people do not realize the importance of proper waste disposal and may dispose of their waste improperly, leading to environmental and health risks. To address this challenge, governments and organizations should launch awareness campaigns to educate people about the importance of proper waste disposal and encourage them to adopt sustainable waste management practices.

The lack of proper waste management infrastructure leads to illegal dumping and other environmental hazards in many communities. To address this problem, governments should invest in improving waste management infrastructure such as collection vehicles and recycling facilities. Lack of funding is a major challenge in implementing effective waste management programs, which are costly for local governments and communities. To overcome this challenge, governments can consider innovative financing mechanisms to fund waste management initiatives. Limited recycling infrastructure or lack of access to recycling programs pose a challenge to sustainable waste management. Governments can address this challenge by promoting recycling through incentives for businesses, expanding curbside recycling programs, and launching education campaigns to encourage people to recycle.

Following Professor Beyene's opening remarks, Dr. Oliver Harman presented his paper on waste management in emerging cities. He identified three conclusions for waste management in emerging cities. First, waste management is an issue of increasing global importance in emerging cities. Second, climate action at the local level is one of the best ways to promote action. Third, economic approaches and research play a role in proving and disseminating solutions. He also raised policy questions about waste management. The first question is: How do I get citizens to produce less waste? Second, how do I get citizens to pay more for waste disposal? Third, how do I make citizens accountable for their personal waste? Fourth, how can I change citizens' waste disposal behavior? Fifth, how can I create value from waste, and finally, how can I reduce pollution from waste?

Dr. Getahun Garedew also presented a paper with an overview of Ethiopia's waste management policies, efforts, and challenges. Dr. Gettahun said that urban populations are increasing in Africa and Ethiopia. Ethiopia's urbanization rate is almost 4.5, he said, adding that all African countries, including Ethiopia, have waste management policies; the problem is that they are not well implemented. He concluded his study by noting that despite the efforts of most cities in Ethiopia, awareness at all levels is weak. There is also a lack of technology, infrastructure, and funding; weak institutional set-up and coordination; low stakeholder participation; and insufficient budgetary resources to accomplish the task.

Webinar participants said that despite these challenges, there are possible actions to improve waste management. The first step is to invest in waste management infrastructure. This includes developing waste collection systems, building landfills and incinerators, and providing resources for hazardous waste management. Governments can work with private sector partners to develop public-private partnerships that can provide the necessary funding and expertise for waste management projects.

There is also a need to introduce new technologies and innovations in waste management. This includes developing new waste-to-energy technologies that can convert waste into energy, as well as researching new methods for recycling and treating hazardous waste. Waste management also needs to be better managed and regulated. Governments can issue clear policies and regulations that set standards for waste management and ensure that waste management practices are sustainable and environmentally friendly. In addition, governments can work with communities and other stakeholders to develop waste management plans that meet local needs and priorities.

In summary, solid waste management presents complex and difficult issues, but a comprehensive approach that includes education, infrastructure development, funding, and enforcement can lead to more sustainable and healthier communities. This can be achieved through waste reduction and recycling, infrastructure investment, new technologies, and better regulation. We should all work together to reduce waste and promote sustainable waste management for a better future.

Contact Us

Follow Us On

Articles View Hits