Global Partnership on Waste Management


Submitted by Forum for Environment (non-governmental organization)

(Note: Forum for Environment did not prioritize waste streams)

Summary of information
Highest priority waste streams
Highest priority areas of capacity building
1. Technical and scientific
2. Policy and regulatory
3. Social; institutional
Narrative summary
Ethiopia (Forum for Environment)’s responses to the needs assessment survey suggest that the country’s technical and scientific capacity for waste management requires the most strengthening. Skilled human resources are needed especially for the management of healthcare waste, industrial waste, and MSW. However, the responses also show that the country’s waste management policies are fragmented. Certain waste streams, such as e-waste, are unregulated, and thus there are no means of monitoring whether existing disposal methods are safe. Problems regarding institutional coordination and public awareness on the topic of waste management can also be drawn from Ethiopia’s responses.

Industrial waste
According to the responses, industrial waste management could be most improved in the areas of technology and financing. Industrial waste generators need to better understand the concepts of waste prevention and minimization. They need to be equipped with cleaner production methods. The treatment and disposal of generated waste is in short of funds. Furthermore, industrial waste management is not well dealt-with at the institutional level; responsible environmental authorities face a shortage of skilled human resources with expertise on waste management. From a societal perspective, public awareness of industrial waste hazards could also be improved. Finally, the enforcement of existing policies and regulations could also be strengthened.

Municipal solid waste (MSW)
According to the responses, MSW management would benefit most from better technical capacity and social awareness. Among the major stakeholders, understanding of MSW management is low. Concepts such as using waste as a resource or MSW segregation are absent, while technology for activities such as recycling is also unavailable. At the institutional level, the authorities responsible for MSW management are badly coordinated. There are MSW management policies and regulations, although they are not comprehensive. There are gaps in regulatory scope; certain types of waste remain outside of regulations. Finally, the responses propose a detailed study to identify potential sources of funding for improvements in waste management.

Hazardous waste
The responses suggest that Ethiopia is in most need for legislation regarding hazardous waste management. Current waste management policies and regulations do not specifically or separately deal with hazardous waste. The first step towards better hazardous waste management is thus the enactment of legislation on treatment and disposal. Importantly, technical knowledge and equipment regarding hazardous waste management must also be gained. There is also a limit to funds available for hazardous waste management, necessitating fund-raising work to be done. Public awareness of hazardous waste risks could be increased. Finally institutional coordination, including the exchange of information and integration of work, could be improved.

Organic waste
The responses suggest that Ethiopia needs to build its organic waste management capacities in the areas of policy and of technical understanding above all. The country needs a clear policy regarding organic waste management, as currently it is non-existent. Public understanding of the benefits of organic waste, the ways in which it can be re-used, and the technical equipment required, is also poor. A clear policy and educational campaign towards the recovery and re-use of organic wastes will also require coordinated efforts by environmental institutions, and a sound financial base. The management of waste agricultural biomass (WAB) is not mentioned in the responses.

Healthcare waste
Ethiopia would benefit from improvements in the technical understanding of healthcare waste management. Better technical understanding of the treatment and disposal of healthcare waste should begin with the healthcare facilities themselves, as waste generators. Although there are policies and regulations regarding healthcare waste in the country, they are poorly implemented and enforced. Coordination among authorities could thus also be strengthened and clear roles should be made for each body. The lack of funds and low public awareness also are significant problems with regards to improving the management of healthcare waste.

There are no separate policies and regulations with regards to the disposal of e-waste in Ethiopia, a situation that requires immediate attention. Authorities also need a better technical understanding of e-waste management. The responses propose the development or procurement of a set of e-waste guidelines. Public awareness of the hazards of e-waste is also lacking, while the country would further benefit from funds and better institutional coordination to manage e-waste.

Waste plastics
Ethiopia requires clearer policies on the management of waste plastics. Despite a basic public awareness of the environmental effects of waste plastics, there are few initiatives on waste prevention. Institutional coordination is poor, compromising the effectiveness of waste prevention. Efforts towards waste plastic management would also be improved through the development of technical guidelines and a sustainable source of funds.