The National Environment Statistics Report (NESR,2017)-Tanzania mainland states that while cities and towns are generating an ever-increasing volume of waste, the effectiveness of their solid waste collection, transportation and disposal systems are declining.
According to the report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), urban local authorities’ problems are often considered as problems that need long-term solutions, which cannot be achieved in the short run.
“Currently, waste management is a growing problem in Dar es Salaam City due to increasing urbanization, rural-urban migration, rising standards of living and rapid development associated with population growth, that have resulted in increased solid and liquid waste generation by industrial, domestic and other activities.” reads the report
It says that solid waste generation has been steadily increasing in Dar es Salaam City from less than 2,000 tonnes per day in 1998 to more than 4,600 tonnes per day in 2017.
The solid waste generation rate is estimated to be about 0.815 kg/day per capita (2012 Population and Housing Census), which is higher than typical values for developing countries, ranging from 0.4 to 0.6 kg/day per capita.
Approximately 50 – 60 percent of the waste, according to the report is readily biodegradable. At least 80 percent of the generated waste can be categorized as municipal waste whereby households constitute 75 percent, institutions 0.5 percent, markets 3.5 percent as street sweeping contribute 0.5 percent respectively.
The other 20 percent is produced by the private sector including industry and commercial. “Therefore, this means that every person in Dar es Salaam produces a daily average of 0.9 kg/day per capita of household waste.” says the report.
It further states that improper solid waste management contributes to air pollution, surface and groundwater contamination and public health challenges.
NESR also shows that municipal solid waste (MSW) management is commonly the largest single budget item for communities, and this sector is often one of the largest employers as well.
It recommends that it is imperative to move towards a green economy in the solid waste sector by prioritizing waste avoidance, minimization and promoting the “Three Rs” (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle).
In addition, moving this important sector towards responsible stewardship will contribute to the main targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): end poverty, promote prosperity and well-being for all, protect the environment and address climate change, according to the report.
In developing countries, solid waste management is considered to be one of the most serious environment problems confronting most urban areas.
Waste management is gradually becoming a serious concern in Tanzania due to limited sorting at source and improper storage, collection, transportation, treatment and final disposal.
This implies that significant proportions of the waste generated end up in the environment in unacceptable ways of disposal which accentuate environment and public health risks.
The waste management problem is more pronounced in squatter settlements, where 70-80 percent of the urban population resides without the necessary infrastructure and waste collection service.