Coastal East Africa Solid Waste Management Workshop
Port Louis, September 10, 2012:
The Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands, in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Embassy of the United States of America, is hosting the “Coastal East Africa Solid Waste Management Workshop” in Mauritius from 10-13 September 2012.
Solid waste management is a particularly key challenge to sub-Saharan Africa given the rapid rate of urbanisation; highest of any region in the world. Pollution resulting from growing cities and towns is having increasing impacts on people’s health and the environment and is stressing existing infrastructure. In particular, poor management of solid waste results in unsanitary conditions, especially for lower income communities and impacts the quality of freshwater and coastal water, in addition to contributing to climate change. Proper planning, capacity-building and investment are therefore needed to ensure that the quality of air, water, and land is protected so that economies can grow sustainably.
The objective of this 4-day regional workshop is to share lessons-learned from the experience acquired by the various countries of coastal East Africa and Indian Ocean in solid waste management, brainstorm about appropriate solutions for a sustainable solid waste management system and discuss possibilities for replicating best practices in the field of solid waste management taking into account the specificity of each country.
The workshop will provide information on the elements of integrated solid waste management (ISWM), including landfill operations and maintenance, approaches to methane avoidance such as recycling, composting and the development of landfill methane energy projects using the experience of Mauritius as an example and model. Cross-cutting issues such as municipal and other financing, public/private partnership, public participation and working with the informal sector will also be discussed. The challenge of marine litter and debris as well as pollution of groundwater from leachate run-off that are common to coastal and island nations will also be addressed. Participants will discuss successes and challenges together in helping to gain a greater understanding on both the technical elements of ISWM and learning from instructors and one another to improve ISWM in the context of coastal East Africa and the Indian Ocean.
The workshop will be attended by approximately 50 participants from national and local government officials, civil society and private sector groups, landfill operators, and academics from Burundi, Kenya, Réunion (France), Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zanzibar, as well as from Mauritius.