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Lederer J.,Vienna University of Technology | Ongatai A.,Youth Environment Service YES | Odeda D.,Youth Environment Service YES | Rashid H.,Youth Environment Service YES | And 2 more authors.
Habitat International | Year: 2015

Stakeholder involvement is crucial to improve municipal solid waste management (MSWM) in low income countries' urban areas. However, involvement requires sufficient knowledge among stakeholders. This article presents a case study on knowledge generation on MSWM through action research in the city of Busia, Uganda. Action research serves thereby as the methodological framework, in which different methods of data collection, processing, discussion and presentation, as well as practical actions are embedded. Results show that due to lack of financial and technical resources, only half of the wastes generated are formally collected, while the residual is littered, irregularly dumped, or burned. Some of the resulting problems as defined by community members were solved by themselves, while for others, they relied on the commitment of other stakeholders, particularly authorities. drafting of by-laws and the provision of collection vehicles. Though authorities expect the situation to improve as Busia receives waste collection and composting equipment through a clean development (CDM) project, a financial analysis showed that under current conditions (collection costs per ton of waste), the costs for MSWM will increase by 75-100% in the near future. Authorities will find it easier to cope with these additional costs incurred with efforts to improve environmental conditions if stakeholders like NGOs and community members are actively involved in designing the future MSWM system of Busia. To increase the knowledge required among stakeholders to do so, action research proved to be a suitable method. © 2015 The Authors. Source

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