Keywords: disposal practices, environmental programmes, hazardous wastes, sub-, Saharan Africa, risks, waste management, environmental protection, environmental pollution, sustainable development, sustainability, developing countries
Assessment of waste management practices in sub-Saharan Africa
This paper presents an overview of the waste management systems in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on the West African nations in the region. It must be acknowledged that, owing to the lack of a comprehensive database on waste generation for the region, the information provided is neither complete nor exhaustive. Nonetheless, initial site reconnaissance and a survey of available databases for several parts of the region tend to support the general picture presented here, as it relates to the waste management situation for countries in the region. The overall goal is to identify the waste management systems in sub-Saharan Africa; this includes identifying the sources of wastes, disposal practices and waste management procedures, and environmental control policies and regulations used in the region. This paper should thus serve as a starting point for continuing discussion in the search for lasting solutions to the critical environmental issues facing sub-Saharan Africa. It also sets a focused direction for developing strategies to be applied to environmental protection and sustainable development. This will ultimately help to reduce overall risks to health and the environment for countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and indeed to set the stage for similar programmes in other developing countries.