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Project introduction


Overall objective

Most African countries are struggling to promote better long-term living conditions in a sustainable manner. Urbanisation growth together with changing lifestyles and consumption patterns are putting extreme pressure on the environment and the population.


In this context, waste management is emerging as a key sector for sustainable development in many countries where the situation is becoming troubling. Poor waste management practices along with the lack of a functional waste management system (especially in rural areas) are the origin of several persistent problems such as an inefficient garbage collection, a poor public compliance with waste segregation, the uncontrolled open burning of waste, etc. Furthermore, valuable resources are lost due to inefficient or non-existing recycling systems.


The establishment of an appropriate waste management structure at the national, regional and local level is a milestone that must be achieved in order to improve the living and health conditions of citizens while protecting the environment. Such structure will also contribute to a more efficient use of resources as well as to the promotion of a sustainable development.



The main objective of IWWA is to promote the establishment of Integrated Solid Waste Management systems (ISWM) in Western Africa by developing the appropriate management policies and implementation strategies for ISWM at national and regional levels while gathering authorities, policy makers and other stakeholders in the process.

ISWM in short

ISWM is one of the holistic approaches to environmental and resources management emerging from the concept of sustainable development. ISWM systems combine waste characterisation, collection, treatment and disposal methods with the objective of achieving significant benefits for the environment, the economic optimisation of the whole process and the acceptability of society . In the search for the involvement and commitment of all stakeholders participating in the waste management chain the approach ensures that all local issues affecting waste management in a specific area are taking into consideration .


ISWM systems apply a management structure which ensures that the negative impacts of waste generation on the environment are avoided and therefore that health and pollution / emission problems are eluded. The fundamentals of ISWM systems are based on the following principles:

  • the reduction of the amount of waste generated (source reduction);
  • the reuse and recycling of what can be valuable (make the best use of the produced waste) ; and
  • the disposal of the remaining waste.

Specific objectives

Under these premises, the specific objectives of IWWA are:

  • To collect and analyze relevant information that is required for proper Solid Waste Management (SWM) planning and decision-making processes;
  • To identify the stakeholders participating in the waste chain, their strategies, their interaction and their contribution to the improvement of the SWM.
  • To identify policy and technology options for ISWM systems which are adapted to the regional situation of target countries.
  • To develop tools for the implementation of tailored action plans and systems by the regional and national authorities.
  • To provide training for environmental specialists, to increase the environmental awareness of the public and to bring about effective public participation in SWM.

The tools to be developed in IWWA will empower stakeholders in two ways: 1) providing technological and organizational solutions which are adapted to their necessities; and 2) setting up the basis of a legal framework which enables and promotes the implementation of improved and sustainable solid waste management systems.

Through participatory workshops IWWA will involve all relevant stakeholders in the waste chain (including Community Based Organisations), ensuring that the solutions developed within the project framework are adapted to real necessities in target countries. In addition the project will build local capacities through specific capacity building activities where key stakeholders will be trained in the decision making tools developed in IWWA.

IWWA will focus its activities on four target countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. As a representative sample of western African countries, IWWA also seeks to provide synergies for the establishment of ISWM across the region while raising public awareness.



The IWWA Final meeting will take place on 14th-15th of May, 2012 in Accra, Ghana. More details will be available soon.


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