Less Waste, More Wealth Project

The project ran from 2010-2015 and worked with entrepreneurs, local government and slum dwellers living in Cameroon to help improve waste management whilst creating new jobs and income generating opportunities.

Some of the impacts of the programme include the following:

  • 280 new jobs created in the waste recycling sector
  • 20,000 slum dwellers with improved waste collection services
  • Economic growth in the recycling sector, with average 15-30% profit increases per enterprise
  • 2,000 people making an income from waste recycling streams
  • 06 public private partnerships signed with local government

Details of the project’s activities carried out can be found by clicking on the link below:

What happened

MIT-Term Evaluation Report (it includes MIT-Evaluation in Uganda and Nigeria)

Final Evaluation Report

Project Overview

The project will contribute to respond to the urgent need to improve the lives of the increasing number of impoverished and vulnerable people residing in urban slum areas in Douala. It will be implemented in partnership with Living Earth Foundation as the project’s monitoring and coordination to deliver this six-year Urban Waste project. It is part of the wider Urban Slum Programme.

Project Background

For the first time in history, over half of the world’s population live in urban areas. Urbanisation is expected to increase significantly; particularly within sub-Saharan Africa where the urban population is forecast to double between 2000 and 2030. Over  70% of this urban population live in slum conditions, contending with underemployment, low household income and widespread abject poverty.Untitled

The growth in population is placing an increasing demand on the urban environment; there is the same amount of land but more people, the same number of toilets but more human waste, more rubbish but less space to dispose of it. Widespread poor solid waste management creates an array of associated health problems and poses a threat to surface and groundwater quality.

The onus for managing the physical environment in poor areas remains with the communities themselves; if they do not address the problems of household waste, poor public sanitation, clogged and disease-spreading drainage, no-one will do it for them.

Project Aim

The project is creating a virtuous circle wherein slum dwellers in three urban areas in the city of Douala, take responsibility for collecting and managing household solid waste, instead of sending this off to landfills. Social ventures and micro-enterprises are currently overseeing the process of sorting waste, recycling and reuse.

The project is ensuring environmental sanitation improvements are being sustained, with subsequent benefits in the health and well being of  slum inhabitants. The project is fostering the emergence of a skilled and effective business sector wherein social enterprises, founded by and in poor urban communities, are deriving wealth from the provision of environmental services and derivative recycling and re-use activities. The waste is therefore becoming the catalyst for their income generation and creating employment opportunities.

Expected Results

  1. Sustained environmental sanitation improvement with subsequent benefits in the health and well-being of the inhabitants in the nine target communities, through improved service provision as a result of partnerships with Local Governments, private sector and civil society
  2. The emergence of a skilled and effective business sector wherein social enterprises, founded by and in poor urban communities, derive wealth from the provision of environmental services and derivative recycling and re-use activities
  3. The role of women in the sector will be promoted
  4. Improved stakeholder awareness including amongst policy-makers, on the rights and entitlement of poor urban dwellers to a clean environment and of the potential to harness local cost-effective resources to deliver these
  5. Enhanced capacity amongst Local Authorities to engage in public-private partnership (PPP) development, particularly with the less formal private sector. Strengthening managerial, technical and organisational abilities of Municipalities and addressing statutory limitations, will play a vital part in achieving this result
  6. Improved South-South linkages and networking between partners and associates to increase learning, information dissemination, consensus building and advocacy skills to influence policy makers.
  7. Scaling up of the approach and methodology to other urban centres within the three target countries

Project Activities

  • Support 06 micro-projects delivering environmental sanitation services to poor urban residents, implemented by social venture groups and micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in partnership with local authorities
  • Build capacity amongst 40 micro and small enterprises run by poor the Douala slum dwellers
  • Provide business training to 30 poor urban entrepreneurs
  • Provide functional livelihoods skills training to 200 Douala slum dwellers
  • Raise awareness on the right to a clean environment among slum dwellers
  • Support residents’ and vulnerable people’s groups to advocate for rights for a clean urban environment
  • Provide advocacy training and support to 60 Douala community leaders
  • Ensure available information resources on urban environmental rights for up to 70,000 slum dwellers
  • Deliver partnership training to 30 Local Authority officials
  • Provide capacity building in project management for 3 councils addressing the city slum problems
  • Develop South-south dialogue between Nigeria, Uganda and Cameroon and information sharing
  • Instigate networking platforms for cross-fertilisation and exchange
  • Facilitate 3 seminars on urban environment and poverty
  • Facilitate a National conference on the urban environment
  • Publish Public-Private Partnerships toolkits and awareness raising materials

Project Funding

The project is funded by the European Commission and Comic Relief.