Submitted by Ministry of Hydraulics and Environment

(Note: The Ministry of Hydraulics and Environment did not prioritize areas of capacity-building)

Summary of information
Highest priority waste streams
1. Municipal solid waste
2. Waste plastics
3. Industrial waste
Highest priority areas of capacity building
Narrative summary
Niger (Ministry of Hydraulics and Environment)’s responses to the needs assessment survey show that the country’s waste management capacity-building needs are wide-ranging. MSW is ranked as the highest priority waste stream for better management, and needs include the drafting of more specific regulations, the building of landfills, as well as public participation in waste segregation (for plastic waste). The responses also show that waste management is inconsistent across the country; for example, industrial waste is only treated in wealthier regions. Ways to improve waste management in Niger should therefore consider the perspectives not only of different waste streams, but also those of specific communities requiring different solutions.

Municipal solid waste (MSW)
In Niger, MSW management is ranked as the highest priority area for capacity-building. MSW is only vaguely regulated as part of public hygiene legislation (n°93-13, 1993). Specific guidelines on disposal, as well as juridical procedures for the enforcement of legislation, are absent. MSW management in urban centres is particularly chaotic, due to a lack of controlled landfills and limited financial resources. Societal awareness of the benefits of waste segregation is low, while coordination among state environmental apparatus is poor. Niger thus requires a general all-round improvement of its MSW management system.

Waste plastics
The management of waste plastics is seen as a very important area for capacity-building in Niger. Societal participation in waste minimization, especially of plastic bags, is low. There is little awareness of the environmental hazards of plastic, while plastic bags are cheaply obtainable. Preference for imported goods over local products also increases the quantity of waste, due to waste generated by increased transportation and packaging. Changes to the habits of Niger society must be made in order to tackle the problem of waste plastics. A government strategy and action plan is in existence to minimize waste plastics. However, limited funding, unequal levels of clarity and coordination among institutions, and the lack of specific legislation on waste plastics compromise the effectiveness of the action plan.

Industrial waste
Industrial waste management is also seen as an important area for capacity-building in Niger. Above all, authorities require funding for the procurement waste management equipment. The public sector is generally in short of these funds, while the private sector possesses limited equipment. However, industrial waste treatment by the private sector is often done only in wealthier areas where inhabitants can afford the costs. Industrial waste poses a significant health and environmental hazard in less developed areas of the country. The private sector should therefore be more integrated into industrial waste management. Coordination and partnership between the private and public sector can also be attempted. There exists legislation addressing industrial waste, prohibiting the import of hazardous industrial waste (n°89-24, 1989), and monitoring its generation in the country (n°66-033, 1966). It could be improved, however, if enforcement plans were to be developed.

Hazardous waste
Hazardous waste management is addressed by legislation (n°89-24, 1989). However, plans for the enforcement of this legislation are not mentioned. The text is also incomprehensive in that only the import of industrially-generated hazardous waste is referenced. Aside from the expansion of regulated areas, Niger’s public sector will also require better financing. Funds are needed to implement legislation, to procure hazardous waste treatment technologies, and to inform the public of health and environmental hazards in this waste stream.

Healthcare waste
A general all-round improvement of healthcare waste management needs to be made in Niger. There are currently no policies or legislation regarding healthcare waste management. The level of technical capacity is inconsistent, with technical deficiencies identified in areas such as waste segregation, storage, collection and treatment. Societal awareness of healthcare waste management remains low; there is little awareness of the relation between the mismanagement of waste and poor health. If a framework for action on healthcare waste is developed, insufficient funds may also emerge as a concern, while institutional coordination could also be improved.

There are currently no regulations and only limited resources for the management of e-waste in Niger. E-waste management is, however, performed by informal actors. Individual craftsmen collect and recycle e-waste, but they often have little awareness of health hazards. From a societal perspective, there is thus a need to modernize recycling procedures. The development of a framework for the management of this waste stream may also be needed.

Organic waste and waste agricultural biomass (WAB)
Organic waste and WAB are not regarded as separate waste streams in Niger. Specific laws regarding organic and agricultural waste are absent, as are funds to procure composting equipment. Instead, composting is performed in open pits in rural areas, with little societal awareness of health hazards. There is thus a need to modernize these already-existent waste management practices, while the development of a waste management framework would be beneficial.