Dar es Salaam is enhancing the city’s organic waste management practices through worker engagement and inclusive planning and implementation. The goal is to improve the quality of life of those living and working in informal settlements while creating waste-free streets.

Population growth in Dar es Salaam has resulted in significant waste generation increases, along with illegal dumping and uncollected waste. Waste is often buried or burnt, resulting in increasingly frequent floods due to drainage system blockage and toxic air pollution that negatively impacts the health of nearby communities, especially children and older people who are more vulnerable to respiratory effects.

Although informal settlements account for 75% of the city’s housing, inadequate infrastructure and limited technical capacity reinforce challenges in organic waste management. One solution is relying on informal waste pickers; however, this results in inconsistent waste collection services across settlements and creates poor working conditions that risk workers’ health and prosperity.

With the C40 Inclusive Climate Action (ICA) Cities Fund support, Dar es Salaam has worked to strengthen its collaboration with informal organic waste workers to promote ownership of climate action and enhance access to wider benefits.

Through a series of field visits and stakeholder engagements, the project mapped key actors working in the waste value chain, assessed current waste management practices, and identified key knowledge gaps and training needs among community members and informal waste sector workers to ensure more effective waste management. This exercise helped the city identify areas of intervention for co-creating sustainable waste management practices with informal communities across the city.

The city has developed standard training packages and provided training to strengthen the capacity of informal waste sector workers on improved solid waste collection, sorting and treatment, occupational health and safety, and group cohesion and leadership for effective waste management. This has also contributed to better livelihoods and working conditions for workers.

The C40 Inclusive Climate Action (ICA) Cities Fund is designed to help cities develop and implement climate projects with equity and inclusion principles at their core. As part of the 2023 programme, C40 is supporting six global cities to develop and deliver climate projects over a 12 month period that are inclusive, fair and benefit all residents. Learn more about the ICA Cities Fund.

Editor’s note: this case study was originally published in June 2023; the content was updated in May 2024 to reflect the latest details about the project, which can be accessed in full here.

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