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INTEGRATED WASTE MANAGEMENT IN WESTERN AFRICA

Final Report Summary - IWWA (Integrated waste management in western Africa)

Executive summary:

IWWA project has contributed to the improvement of Solid waste management (SWM) systems in western Africa, by promoting appropriate management policies at national and regional levels and gathering authorities, policy makers and other stakeholders (private sector, NGOs, general public) in the design of waste management policy measures, with the support of African and European experts. This initiative is focused on 4 target countries in western Africa: Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. The situation in these countries is representative of the overall situation in western Africa, and project results will provide synergies for the establishment of sustainable SWM systems across the region.

Taking advantage of the experience gathered by the group of experts of the consortium, this project builds a proficient network in SWM that is analysing the current situation in the target countries, identifying main gaps and constraints of any type (technological, sociological, organisational) and selecting best practices and suitable management systems from European and non-Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. According to the results obtained, the consortium is working to provide valuable decision making tools to be used in the future implementation of strategies:

- guide for identification of Integrated waste management system (IWMS)s adapted to target countries regional situation;
- guide for implementation of IWMSs;
- guidelines for participatory planning processes in Integrated SWM (ISWM);
- Recommendations for the development of national and regional action plans in each target country.

These tools will empower stakeholders in two ways: providing technological and organisational solutions adapted to their necessities, and setting up the basis of a policy framework for a long-term implementation of improved and sustainable SWM systems. Unlike previous policies that focused predominantly on 'end-of-pipe' treatment, IWWA outputs underscores the importance of preventing pollution by reducing waste generation in the first place and avoiding environmental degradation. The activities, material and strategies developed under the project will be held under the ISWM concept. Integrated systems combine waste characterisation, collection, treatment and disposal methods, with the objective of achieving environmental benefits, economic optimisation and societal acceptability. Key factors for a successful implementation are to create the necessary legal framework and to ensure its enforcement. Participatory workshops will be held before the development of guidelines and recommendations, and will aim to involve relevant actors and stakeholders in the development of policy options, ensuring that the solutions proposed are adapted to real necessities in the target countries. In addition the project will build local capacities through specific workshops and seminars where key stakeholders will be trained in the decision making tools developed under the project time frame. Authorities and government agencies in particular, will play a special role in both the participatory and capacity building workshops.

The participation of these stakeholders will ensure that the measures provided to enhance good practices in SWM reach relevant actors able to implement them. In addition, government agencies and regional and local authorities will have the opportunity to exchange their experience with international experts from Europe and Africa, as well as to listen to problems and interests of other actors in the management of solid waste that are not frequently considered, such as Community based organisations, Non-governmental organisation (NGO)s, micro and small enterprises and the informal sector.

Project context and objectives:

The African continent is well-endowed with human and natural resources and civil society is becoming empowered. Political and institutional reforms, although slow, remain the biggest hope for waste management change. However, administration is one of the major weaknesses of waste management systems in Western Africa, the lack of the basics of a functional municipal waste management system brings to Western African countries perennial garbage problems due to inefficient garbage collection, poor public compliance to waste segregation, uncontrolled open burning, and tolerated presence of open dumpsites, dismal law enforcement and lack of coordination among the various units of the local government.

Under this context, IWWA project has contributed to the improvement of SWM systems in western Africa, by promoting appropriate management policies at national and regional levels and gathering authorities, policy makers and other stakeholders (private sector, NGOs, general public) in the design of waste management policy measures, with the support of African and European experts. The situation in the target countries is representative of the overall situation in western Africa, and project results will provide synergies for the establishment of sustainable SWM systems across the region.

Taking advantage of the experience gathered by the group of experts of the consortium, IWWA project has built a proficient network in SWM to analyse the current situation in the target countries, identify main gaps and constraints of any type (technological, sociological, organisational) and select best practices and suitable management systems from European and non-OECD countries. According to the results obtained, the consortium has provided valuable decision making tools to be used in the future implementation of strategies. These tools empower stakeholders in two ways: providing technological and organisational solutions adapted to their necessities, and setting up the basis of a policy framework for a long-term implementation of improved and sustainable SWM systems. Unlike previous policies that focused predominantly on 'end-of-pipe' treatment, IWWA outputs underscore the importance of preventing pollution by reducing waste generation in the first place and avoiding environmental degradation. The activities, material and strategies developed under the project will be held under the ISWM concept. Integrated systems combine waste characterisation, collection, treatment and disposal methods, with the objective of achieving environmental benefits, economic optimisation and societal acceptability. Key factors for a successful implementation are to create the necessary legal framework and to ensure its enforcement.

Learning from previous experiences, the consortium experts have been aware that solutions developed for the North are often not appropriate to contexts in the South. Social relations characterising primary waste collection in African cities have certain particularities and therefore the potential social impact of changes resulting from the introduction of new waste management methods need to be carefully considered. For that reason, participatory workshops were held in the frame of IWWA before the development of guidelines and recommendations, aiming to involve relevant actors and stakeholders in the development of policy options, and ensuring that the solutions proposed are adapted to real necessities in the target countries.

An overview of the objectives proposed at the beginning of the project and how these objectives have been achieved is shown below:

The development of IWWA project activities has contributed to the achievement of all the general objectives defined in the description of work which are listed below:

- To strengthen the institutional framework for SWM and coordination at all levels: Generally, the exchange of expertise within members of the consortium with a role in waste management has strengthened their capability to tackle the challenges of the sector in the target countries. Additionally, the capacity building and dissemination activities (e.g. training workshops, final international conference, adoption of IWWA material in university courses, publication of deliverables in the project web site) have permitted that stakeholders outside the consortium are more prepared for the adoption of policy measures since sound scientific guidelines have been provided and they have been informed about good practices identified by experts from Africa and Europe. Additionally, specific measures regarding legal and institutional framework have been proposed in the recommendations of Work package four (WP4).
- Empowerment of authorities and relevant stakeholders (including private sector) for planning and management of solid waste: Main results of IWWA have taken the form of guidelines to set the basis of the planning process. Task 4.2 has been specifically devoted to this objective and policy briefs have been developed for each target country in deliverable 4.3. The roles that different stakeholders have in the management of solid waste has been also described in deliverable 4.3.
- Encouraging technology transfer, know-how and best practices: The knowledge exchange has been on focus during the whole project time frame. Besides being part of the measures proposed, the project itself has promoted technology and organisational knowledge exchange through its activities, during the second year 4 training workshops (one workshop per target country) have been organised with that objective, but knowledge exchange has been also promoted in other activities such as the adoption of IWWA material in university courses or the publication of articles in several magazines. Regarding the development of training material, the second year of the project has been more focused on organisational aspects (technological aspects were tackled in WP3 during the first reporting period).
- Strengthening links among local authorities: Local authorities have been targeted in the dissemination strategy. In this sense, the participation of the Regional Council of Matam in the project has permitted a wide dissemination of the project results at local level due to their extensive network of contacts. Other partners have also adopted a role of multipliers of the project results such as ELRI in Nigeria, CEIA in Ghana, IAGU in Senegal and UAA in Cote d'Ivoire.
- Promoting participation, public awareness and stakeholder involvement: One of the bases of IWWA project has been the participatory approach, for that reason workshops with key stakeholders were organised during the first year of the project. During this second year, main conclusions of the participatory workshops have been taken into account in the proposal of measures of each country, and the engagement of relevant actors has been sought in the dissemination strategy. The international conference held in Accra has been the most important dissemination event of the project with the participation of authorities from national, regional and local governments.
- Strengthening of the legal framework of SWM in the targeted countries: Legal framework in the target countries was evaluated during the first year of the project (WP2, task 2.1). During this second year, different policy measures have been proposed according to the main lacks and constraints detected in the first year, those measures include extended produced responsibility, stakeholder participation, public private partnerships, substance vans, voluntary agreements with private companies, Green Public Procurement. Furthermore, the following specific objectives have been achieved during the project.
- To collect and analyse relevant information that is required for proper SWM planning and decision-making: Achieved during the regional evaluation carried out under WP2.
- To identify the stakeholders and their strategies, their interaction and their contribution to the improvement of the SWM: Achieved during the stakeholder identification carried out under task 2.3.
- To identify policy and technology options for SWM adapted to the regional situation of the targeted countries: Technology options from other countries have been evaluated in task 3.1 in order to bring lessons learnt which can be applicable to the targeted countries. Guidelines for selection and implementation of systems / technologies have been developed in the other tasks of WP3. WP4 has been devoted to the identification of policy options by identifying potential policy measures for the target countries.
- To develop tools for implementation of adapted action plans and systems by the regional and national authorities: Specific recommendations for the target have been proposed in WP4 and evaluated in WP5 as the basis for future action plans in the target countries.

Project results:

In order to achieve the objectives proposed, IWWA project started in June 2010, with the definition of common criteria in WP1. These criteria permitted to standardise the characterisation of intensively mapped SWM related networks, stakeholders, policy background and socio-economic structure, and SWM practices under WP2. As a result of this mapping major barriers and waste problems in western Africa have been detected. In addition, a regional assessment under WP2 started in month 1 of the project and provided important inputs to WP1 to assure that the criteria defined is tailored to the target countries conditions.

WP3 started with the identification of best practices in Europe and non-European countries. Subsequently, the identification of technical and non-technical requirements was carried out. All this work served to develop the Guide for selecting adapted ISWM systems, comprising technological and organisational solutions adapted to the target countries regional situation. Moreover, a guide for Implementing ISWM systems has been also developed in order to assure that authorities and decision makers have the means and knowledge to put into practice the best solutions for their regions.

In WP4 policy options have been evaluated in relation to results of previous WPs, and elaborated into recommendations for management and planning strategies in a multidisciplinary approach for the promotion of region-adapted waste management solutions.

WP5 has assessed the influence of proposed system solutions on waste sectors of target countries. This approach will help to ensure that the project attains its expected outputs.

WP6, devoted to dissemination activities, started at the very beginning of the project with the dissemination of the project objectives and expected results to relevant stakeholders. Moreover, the project web site was set up at month 3, and promotional leaflets and poster have been developed. Participatory workshops have been organised in Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria. Likewise, the project has built local capacities through specific workshops and seminars where key stakeholders have been trained in the decision making tools developed. The final conference of IWWA, held in Accra in May 2012, has been the most important event for the dissemination of the project objectives and results during the project time frame. This international conference called 'Pathways towards integrated waste management' raised awareness of policy makers, civil society organisations and the science community of the impacts of waste handling and disposal. The conference also identified policies and incentive mechanisms for the adoption of improved ISWM systems in western Africa. These measures were discussed with relevant stakeholders in panels of discussions which was an excellent opportunity for the exchange of experiences and expertise.

The participation of stakeholders during the whole project will ensure that the measures proposed to enhance local practices in SWM reach relevant actors able to implement them. In addition, government agencies and regional and local authorities will have the opportunity to exchange their experience with international experts from Europe and Africa, as well as to listen to problems and interests of other actors in the management of solid waste that are not frequently considered, such as Community based organisations, NGOs, micro and small enterprises and the informal sector.

Finally, work under WP7, devoted to management activities, has ensured the correct organisation, coordination, communication and co-operation between the partners and with the European Commission (EC), and the fulfilment of the reporting requirements during the project.

Potential impact:

IWWA was conceived as an initiative expected to build a proficient network in SWM (SWM) to analyse the current situation in the four target countries, to identify main gaps and constraints of any type and to select best practices and suitable management systems from European and non-European countries.

The project also intended to propose directions for future research on Integrated SWM (ISWM) concept and for local implementation. The main idea of this work was to contribute to the improvement of SWM systems in western Africa, by promoting appropriate management policies at national and regional levels and gathering authorities, policy makers and other stakeholders (private sector, NGOs, general public) in the design of waste management practices. This holistic approach was vital to understand more deeply the specific surrounding conditions and potential consequences of the already existing and the new waste treatment technologies. Unlike previous policies that focused predominantly on end-of-pipe treatment, IWWA underscored the importance of preventing pollution by reducing waste generation in the place and avoiding environmental degradation. Thus, IWWA intended to be an important pathway towards ISWM sustainability through:

- Strengthening the institutional framework for SWM and coordination at all levels.
- Empowerment of authorities and relevant stakeholders (including private sector) for planning and management activities.
- Encouraging technology transfer, know-how and best practices.
- Identification of existing and potential socio-economic barriers for the implementation of the new proposed technologies and proposal of best socio-economic strategies for implementing them.
- Identification of the main constraints in the four target countries for implementing new concepts on municipal and industrial waste (from generation to treatment) through the data compilation on waste generation and treatment in Western African countries and also evaluation of common and urgent problems.
- Exchange of knowledge and best practice examples.
- Dissemination of the obtained results, increasing awareness on the need to improve SWM in western Africa. The compiled and disseminated knowledge in IWWA would improve the waste treatment process, reduce the environmental impact and therefore enhance the African waste sector to reach the goal of sustainable development.

The establishment of IWWA associated important stakeholders and relevant actors (including Community based organisations who deploy a role in the waste management chain) in two main ways. First, providing technological and organisational solutions adapted to their necessities, and second, setting-up the basis of a policy framework for long-term implementation of improved and sustainable SWM systems. Different scopes, realities and approaches to solve SWM problems gathered in IWWA consortium has led to a wider vision of the SWM problems and their solutions by the project partners who are also key actors in SWM. Therefore the role that project partners play in SWM has been enhanced not only with the tools developed during the project but also with the expertise gained from the joint collaboration with institutions of different scopes (e.g. NGOs, private companies, local authorities, research centres, etc.) and countries within the consortium. Networking during the project has increased the potentiality of IWWA partners to influence the decision making process or even directly apply IWWA results in the decision making in the case of actors with public competences in SWM such as the Regional Council of Matam. This work contributed to:

- Strengthening formal and informal networks on waste management in the four target countries.
- Integration of new actors in these networks.
- Better understanding of the specific surrounding conditions (environmental, economic and social) and potential consequences of the waste treatment technologies use.

In order to achieve this, the project beneficiaries gave priority to valuable decision making tools in order to raise awareness not only on technical issues but also on other aspects related to the organisation and management of relationships between all of the key actors and / or stakeholders for the planning and implementation of ISWM.

It was crucial for the planning of the promotion of appropriate management policies to include all involved stakeholders groups, authorities and policy makers for securing real improvements in waste management practices. ISWM, in its concept, involves a wide range of stakeholders (local producers, private sector, generators of waste, providers of services, informal sector), each of them having different roles and interests in relation to waste management. NGOs also play a crucial role in reaching the communities helping to create awareness about the environmental impacts and health problems associated with the disposal of wastes. Their involvement in the management of solid waste ensured the sustainability of the proposed measures.

The first step of this strategy was the creation of a project webpage, in which all items produced within the IWWA project are available for the visitors, as well as relevant information regarding SWM, the events organised during the project duration, the project structure, etc. The impact of this important tool could be considered quite important taking into account the number of visits and the amount of materials downloaded during the project timeframe. By the end of the project, 31 May 2012, more than 15 000 visits have been registered, being the events section, the workplan description and the profiles of the beneficiaries profiles the most visited section of the website. In terms of downloads, more than 2000 downloads of the available public materials were registered, where the most significant documents are:

- guide for identification of ISWM adapted to target countries regional situation;
- guide for implementation of ISWM;
- guidelines for participatory planning process in ISWM;
- recommendations for the development of national and regional action plans in each target country.

The production of adapted dissemination tools was another important point for this dissemination and promotion strategy. Besides electronic dissemination through the webpage, it was necessary to emphasise the role of printed material as it was clear that not all stakeholders would have access to internet, so basic and relevant information had to be provided to them by other means. This helped to communicate the results of the project to all sectors of relevant stakeholders. Therefore, a set of dissemination tools (leaflet, poster and publications) based on the project reports and conclusions have been prepared:

- Project leaflet: two promotional project leaflets were designed and produced in English and French containing relevant information on ISWM and the concept of the project. The second project leaflet also included information on the final conference of the project which was organised in Accra, Ghana. The two leaflets were used by the project beneficiaries with dissemination purposes, being distributed in all events organised within the project, as well as in other events which the project partners attended in order to promote IWWA.
- Project poster: as the leaflets, it was designed and produced in English and French, and it contained also the basics of the IWWA project and relevant information on ISWM. It was showed by the project beneficiaries in all events organised within the project, as well as in those events to which the beneficiaries attended to promote the IWWA project.

Four scientific publications were foreseen related to IWWA results and potential impacts of SWM in western African countries. All of them were published in scientific international journals. The articles foreseen in the project were the following:

- Publication: 1st publishable scientific article on the main barriers and obstacles for the implementation of ISWM concept in western Africa.
- Publication: 2nd publishable scientific article on SWM practices in western Africa.
- Publication: 3rd publishable scientific article on the IWMSs for western Africa.
- Publication: 4th publishable scientific article on the guidelines and recommendations for national and regional action plans.

One of the main constraints detected for the adoption of appropriate measures in SWM is the lack of information regarding the SWM management situation (e.g. quantities and types of waste, success stories in other regions), as well as proper regulations and proper enforcement, community awareness. Following the first results of the project, the consortium came to the conclusion that community participation is of utmost importance. In order for the project results to provide synergies for the establishment of sustainable SWM systems across the target region, the project partners organised 8 participatory workshops. Those workshops had the aim to build local capacities by training stakeholders in the decision making tools developed under the project. Authorities and government agencies played a special role. They also had the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge with international experts from Europe and Africa. In total, the workshops were attended by more than 300 people. The number of attendees gives an idea of the success of the events and the public reached from a wide range of actors.

Taking into account the results of all these activities, the consortium was convinced on the interest of the stakeholders in ISWM strategies. Potential roads for future collaboration have been investigated and discussed. A permanent network has been created to promote further initiatives in SWM as members of IWWA consortium have agreed to continue the collaboration beyond the project time frame. Several initiatives have been forecast among which the participation of IWWA partners in other proposals related to SWM in Africa. Several IWWA partners have already submitted a project proposal in the last call of KBBE launched by the EC in a topic related to the upgrading of waste into energy. Other initiatives are being prepared for the next call for proposals of ENVIRONMENT. These activities also enabled the increase of visibility of SWM actors to local, regional and national authorities responsible of SWM. Visibility gained through the participation in a EU-funded project has also increased the potentiality of project partners to positively influence the decision making process.

List of websites: http://www.iwwa.eu

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