EDITORIAL: Tailor plan for waste management system to local context

Kigali is seeking an innovative solution to waste management, a growing concern across the continent and beyond.

In an attempt to set up a sustainable solution to waste management, Ministry of ICT and Innovation has announced the search for a firm to implement a smart system for waste management in Kigali city.

 

The plans include a pilot phase consisting of smart waste collection stations to be installed in 10 public markets across all three districts in Kigali with the phase expected to cost about $100,000 for collection, transportation, treatment, recycling and disposal of waste.

 

This comes at a time when all factors point to growing pressure on waste management facilities and systems as the population in Kigali grows with the trend expected to persist in the next decade and beyond.

 

Kigali’s population is expected to double by 2035, from the current over 1.5M people consequently requiring a more robust, modern and built for purpose utility system.

While there may be multiple well-done waste management systems in cities across the world, it is important that Kigali’s choice of system be tailored to the local context to ensure relevance and practicality.

Locally developed and tailored solutions will among other things ensure affordability, practicality as well as sustainability as it will have buy-in from local stakeholders and players.

While it may be tempting to procure or replicate a waste management system from nations or cities that have preceded Rwanda in the aspect, resisting the temptation will guarantee sustainable waste management integration to the local ecosystem.

Among the multiple reasons for this is that different cities have different factors that inform/direct features of systems in use. For instance, population growth trends, density, existing infrastructure among others.

Local context is also a chance to create more local jobs, add more value to the Rwandan value chain as well as develop skills which will not only support expansion but could also be exported.

The new incoming system is among other things likely to be tested by age-old trials like hesitance to change and wait-and-see attitude that often characterize the debut of innovation and new solutions. Local context and composition will be among the drivers past the trials.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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