Assessment of community participation in solid waste management

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Sokoine university of agriculture.


A study was conducted to assess the extent of community participation in solid waste management (SWM) in Mbeya City, Tanzania. Data were collected using both structured and non-structured interviews. Field observations and secondary data supplemented the data collected using questionnaires. Purposive sampling procedures were used to obtain three representative wards. At ward level, 60 respondents each from different households were picked at random for the study leading to a sample size of 180 respondents. The collected data were analysed using SPSS software. Results of the study indicated that more than 60% of the solid waste generated is of vegetable and food remains origin. The city authorities can only collect and dispose off 44% of the generated SW. The major limitations at household and community levels are lack of collection and storage facilities which could lead to serious health and environmental problems. Community members perceive SWM as a sole responsibility of local government authorities. Their perception towards SWM is quite low and their attitude in SWM is also unfavourable. It is, therefore, recommended that efforts should be directed towards training and awareness creation for purpose of enhancing their participation in SWM. The formation and strengthening of Environmental committees is crucial in order to increase the participation in SWM at a lower level. In any case, a strong link between the community and local government authorities should be created. For sustainable and meaningful SWM emphasis should be directed towards composting which should be carried out by site specific groups. This could be an attractive alternative in terms of production of fertilizer for the growing sub- sector of urban agriculture as well as income generation.



Community participation, Solid waste management, Solid waste, Mbeya city