International Development Planning Review

Households: passive users or active managers?: The case of solid waste management in Accra, Ghana

International Development Planning Review (2003), 25, (4), 373–389.

Abstract

Solid waste management is an essential public health service, but in many developing countries it is not provided to the full satisfaction of residents. Generally, solid waste systems tend to be provided on the basis of technical and financial considerations, and little or no consultation is carried out with the recipients of the service. Systems are often designed to satisfy the short-term views of politicians and professionals, rather than the needs of the users of the service. This has led to the development of solid waste systems that are inappropriate, and so receive little cooperation from residents. Consultation with the users at all stages of planning and implementation could improve the quality of services and reduce the costs. There is a need to develop new approaches that are based on integrating the existing practices and perceptions of the users with proposed developments. This paper presents the findings of a study that explored households' approaches to solid waste management in three suburbs in Accra, Ghana. The study showed that household activities are greatly influenced by social factors, service type and income levels. The study concludes that both the cooperation of households and cost recovery would be enhanced if residents were more involved in the planning of schemes.

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COINTREAU-LEVINE, S. (1994), Private Sector Participation in Municipal Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries, Vol 1: The Formal Sector (Urban Management Programme Policy Paper No. 13), Washington, DC, World Bank. Google Scholar

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GHANA STATISTICAL SERVICE (2002), Summary Report of Final Result, 2000 Population and Housing Census, Accra, Ghana Statistical Service. Google Scholar

HUNT, C. (1996), 'Child waste pickers in India: the occupation and its health risk', Environment and Urbanisation, 8. Child waste pickers in India: the occupation and its health risk Environment and Urbanisation 8 Google Scholar

KLUNDERT, A. and LARDINOIS, I. (1995), 'Community and private (formal and informal) sector involvement in municipal solid waste management in developing countries' ( http:// www.gdrc.org/uem/waste/swm-finge1.htm Google Scholar

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MENOU, M. J. (1993), Measuring the Impact of Information on Development, Ottawa, International Research Development Centre (IRDC). Google Scholar

MLGRD (MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT) (1996), Environmental Sanitation Policy, Accra, MLGRD. Google Scholar

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UNDP (2000), Women's Political Participation and Good Governance: 21st Century Challenges, New York, United Nations Development Programme. Google Scholar

UNEP (2002), 'The Global Environmental Outlook 3: past, present and future perspective' ( www.unep.org/geo/geo3 Google Scholar

VESILIND, P. A., PIERCE, J. J. and WEINER, R. F. (1994), Environmental Engineering (third edition), Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann. Google Scholar

WAAS, E. (1991), 'Urban waste, municipal waste, man and waste: popular recycling activities in the third world', African Environment, 8. Urban waste, municipal waste, man and waste: popular recycling activities in the third world African Environment 8 Google Scholar

WILSON, D. C. (1998), 'The challenges of waste management in low-income countries', Waste Management, April. Google Scholar

WORLD BANK (1996), Urban Environmental Sanitation Project: Staff Appraisal Report, Accra, Africa Regional Office, World Bank. Google Scholar

WORLD BANK (2002), 'Upgrading lowincome urban settlements: country report— Ghana' ( http://www.worldbank.org/urban/upgrading /docs/afr-assess/ghana.pdf Google Scholar

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Author details

Addo-Yobo, Felix

Ali, Mansoor