Integrated Waste Management in Western Africa
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.