Waste Management Services and Livelihoods

The focus of the project “Economics of Public Service Delivery: Solid Waste Management & Income Generation” was to support the development of financially sustainable and innovative public private partnerships (PPP) for basic service delivery of sustainable solid waste management, including waste collection, street sweeping, waste picking and recycling, within urban and peri-urban areas in the city of Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. The project illustrates the importance of a well-structured framework for waste management.

Location: Maseru. Lesotho
Keywords: "Waste management framework" " Stakeholder involvement" " Recycling" " Innovative financing"

Public - Private Partnership delivers improved Waste Management Services and Livelihoods

The achievements of the project include increased waste management services coverage from 30% to 70% of the households in Maseru, the formalisation of the Waste Management Consortium (Pty) Ltd to provide solid waste services led to the active implementation of a refuse collection and disposal service, the provision of a minimum of a hundred and four (104) direct jobs being created for the poor and formerly unemployed, improved aesthetics for the city and provision of opportunities in waste recycling business for local entrepreneurs.

The specific objective of the project is to improve the enabling environment for the establishment of financially sustainable basic service delivery PPP by:

  • enhancing institutional capacity to contract, manage and monitor PPP service delivery arrangement on solid waste management;
  • facilitating the development, adoption and implementation of permissive pro-poor policies and regulations;
  • establishment of PPP through the provision of ward specific solid waste management and collection schemes for real waste, recyclables and possibly biodegradable waste;

The project initiative which was active from 2009 to 2012 after a initial planning activities. It was spearheaded by the Maseru City Council as implementing agency with the responsibility of management and co-ordination of project activities to achieve the outputs, while United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was assigned as the executing agency. The Public Private Partnership for Local Service Delivery Strategy began with United Nations Habitat Sustainable Maseru City Programme and the UNDP country Office collaborated with UNDP Public Private Partnerships for service delivery (UNDP PPSD) initiated a PPP Country level project in Maseru.

The PPP project commenced with a participatory environmental profiling assessment and city council consultation exercises conducted in which solid waste management was prioritised as the major menace requiring urgent attention in the city. This was followed by an awareness raising, sensitisation meeting and training of key partners on the PPP concept in order to obtain an inclusive and integrated response. In a bid to achieve an inclusive service delivery, partnership agreements were forged between the Maseru City Council, private and community service providers. The Maseru City Council with UNDP PPSD support carried out a competitive pro-poor tendering process to identify and select non-state providers interested in solid waste management services. In year 2006 and 2007, the Waste Management Consortium (Pty) Ltd (WMC) was formed by contractors to provide solid waste services to the Maseru Council as per agreement. The Maseru City Council developed a PPP Guideline as a guiding tool for PPP initiatives, thus this resulted in the development of a road map titled “Maseru City Council Strategic Plan 2008-2011”.

On completion, the waste management service coverage increased from 30% to 70% in Maseru due to the project, the formalization of the Waste Management Consortium (Pty) Ltd led to the active implementation of a refuse collection, disposal service and organizing picking up of litter with investment through procurement of four compactor trucks, a van and head tool which led to better service delivery. Also, direct jobs were created for the poor and formerly unemployed particularly women and youth thus leading to poverty reduction. This also created businesses for local entrepreneurs in waste recycling.