The Project Approach

In the first project phase, Swisscontact played a supportive role in the implementation of a Solid Waste Management system, ensuring that project activities were well coordinated and carried out.

As this was a new concept in the community, the CBOs participated in various training sessions and received numerous inputs which assisted them in their waste collection efforts

A CBO is any form of organisation that draws its members from the same neighbourhood or geographical area that is also a socio-administrative unit. The CBOs are responsible (often by their own initiative) for managing waste collection in their own neighbourhood. The CBOs specialise in the primary collection (from household to collection points or enclosures), while the Municipal Council transfers the waste from the CBO collection point to the principal landfill.

To achieve systemic change, Swisscontact adjusted its approach in the second phase and moved towards a market system facilitation to assure sustainability. The market systems development approach used is referred to as Inclusive Markets which is also commonly as Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P). It advocates for the engagement of all key stakeholders in solid waste management including local authorities, Municipal Councils, waste collectors (who form the CBOs), waste blockers/aggregators, recyclers, households, waste scavengers and financial service providers. The approach was based on the premise that better waste management and an improved enabling environment led to more competitive businesses, which in turn resulted in sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction and a clean environment. The project engaged with private and public sector organisations to change the community’s mindset, leverage resources and maximise impact. The market facilitator and linkage role Swisscontact played with the market actors aimed to encourage scaling up and ensure project acceptance by the community and the sustainability of activities. Swisscontact established strong relationships with all the involved stakeholders, which was beneficial it came to coordinating efforts.

The project considers SWM as a value chain which needs capacity-building and cooperation, both up- and downstream. To ensure acceptance, it was crucial to change the negative image held by the community around working in the waste collection sector.

The first signs of systemic change were seen when the Morogoro Municipal Council institutionalised the CBO system in an integrated solid waste management strategy. They recognised the CBOs as service providers and permitted them to be responsible for primary waste collection at household level. The regular and cost-effective waste collection system was provided as an alternative to haphazard dumping of household waste. The CBO network was further supported with capacity building for its leaders to advocate for proper waste removal services and the enforcement of revised by-laws from the municipality. Technical suggestions from those with SWM experience, as well as exchange visits, enabled the municipality to improve their strategy and put in place a more efficient and sustainable SWM system.

Some of the innovative methods facilitated by the project to raise awareness and encourage community acceptance and involvement include:

  • A six-month competition to identify the best performing CBO. The Municipal Council assessed all operating CBOs using different criteria, including health and safety of their workers. The winner was crowned as ‘Taka Shujaa’ meaning “waste hero”.
  • Replication of the ‘Taka Mita’, which is a “wastemeter” inspired by a successful waste management project in Bolivia. The meter is a public signpost placed in each ward showing its level of cleanliness. The cleanest ward was awarded the ‘golden broom’. As each ward wanted recognition, residents and their leaders worked to outdo each other in the competition.
  • Development of an awareness-creation manual that was disbursed through house-to-house visits and public demonstrations carried out by the CBO workers in close collaboration with ward health officers, leaders and volunteers. Taka ni Mali supported the development and printing of the awareness materials, which explained the revised environmental by-laws and policies.
  • Partnering with schools and forming environmental clubs that taught students the importance of environmental conservation, composting, and how to sort waste at the source. The lessons were highly practical, with each club running a compost heap and organic garden within the school compound.
  • Media announcements

Some of the capacity-building exercises facilitated by Swisscontact included, but were not limited to, good communication skills, leadership, handling group dynamics, recycling per waste typology, waste sorting, briquette making, entrepreneurship, business management, occupational health and safety, first aid and record keeping.