How does Benin manage its waste?

February 2nd, 2016 – from Mélaine-Sourou Awassi

Population growth in Benin

Year after year, the population of my country continues to increase. It grew from 6,769,914 inhabitants in 2002, to 9,983,884 in 2014. According to the latest census, the growth rate was 3.5%. I think that is enormous for such a small country, my beloved Benin.

This population growth can be explained by unemployment, rural migration, and many other factors.

Consequences of increased waste production

This population boom is not without consequences. If you take the verb “to produce” and add to it, each and every day, you can imagine how it goes.

Let’s see:

Every day I produce…
Every day you produce…
Every day he or she produces…
Every day we produce…
Every day you produce…
Every day they produce…

Did you guess the missing word? Bravo! Yes, it’s “waste,” since every day that is what we produce. Along with the population boom, there is also a massive increase in solid waste.

photo 1

Management of solid waste in Benin

In Benin, household solid waste management is a service of the city. In Cotonou, it is provided by a combination of city technical services and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

Cotonou produces about 708 tons of household waste per day. That’s impressive, right? In order for your waste to be picked up, you must have a monthly subscription with one of the NGOs.

photo 2

Pre-collection of waste allows NGOs to pass by houses that are subscribed to their network with a truck and route it towards a management point. According to the latest report from the Household Solid Waste Management Project in Cotonou (PGDSM), NGOs generate 687 jobs for 631 men and 56 women, and serve 26,075 subscribers.

However, many people don’t dispose of household waste properly, and litter can often be seen in the street or dumped along the roadside, like in this photo.

photo 4

These dumps exist because some people do not subscribe to pre-collection services. Instead, they rid themselves of garbage by throwing it in nature, in storm drains or in empty squares.

photo 5

We note the effort of the City of Cotonou in the management of this waste, but in addition, the population must be educated to address dumping and to work towards a clean environment and healthy city.

What do you think?

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