Augmenting innovative waste economies to enhance urban livelihoods and reduce emissions in informal settlements (AWELIS)
Organic waste in Kampala including both human and solid waste is largely managed through practices that are environmentally unfriendly, that degrade aesthetics with adverse health and environmental outcomes making both city management and livability of Kampala challenging. However organic waste is resourceful if utilized for nutrients recovery or turned into energy briquettes that can provide alternative livelihood strategies with a high potential for integrating the urban poor into the urban economy. Solid waste management interacts with climate system through generation of methane, which is highly potent that cumulatively contribute to Greenhouse Gases emissions. Centralized waste collection services involve the collection, transportation and disposal at a landfill of solid wastes with the operational and environmental costs. In Kampala KCCA is grappling with managing wastes and the model which has been pursued for long is the collect, transport, dispose wastes at a landfill with several challenges including accumulation of leachates, contestations from the community close to the landfill and waste picking that is often seen as scavenging.Knowledge exists on generation, management practices, environmental problems, costs incurred by KCCA and costs to communities and the largely engineering solutions. But the knowledge about the transformation of organic wastes into products usable has remained at micro scale in communities where research and pilots have been undertaken in the last 2 decades. These alternative means of managing the organic waste by turning it into resourceful products such as energy briquettes is estimated to recover less that 5% of the organic wastes generated in the city if stayed at micro-level of operation. The AWELIS project was designed to enable three practical and demonstrable strategies for transformation of waste management in the city. The first is to enable transition of the current micro-scale interventions of energy briquettes to meso and macro-scale within the context of Kampala city-region; second is to enable development of products and business model that can have double edged outcomes of mainstreaming the urban poor into the urban economy while reducing the adverse effects of indiscriminate dumping and management of wastes in the city; third is the enable KCCA take lessons from alternative organic waste management to initiate institutional support for scaling up at city-regional scale that would reduce costs of waste transportation and landfill management. The project objective is three-pronged; a) designed as a participatory process for scaling out and scaling up business enterprises that could benefit many urban poor, b) reduce community indirect costs associated with poor waste management practices and improve the neighborhood environment and c) reduce operation costs for KCCA in managing the waste sector and fill. The key questions to be addressed through implementation around which activities are designed for deepened dialogue, solutions design, solutions validation and promotion for scaling up.