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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/4531

Title: Waste a necessary evil for economically impoverished communities in least developed countries (LCDc): a case study
Authors: Mvuma, G
Keywords: Impoverished communities
Job creation
Waste harvesters
Least developed countries
WasteCon 2010
Issue Date: Oct-2010
Publisher: WasteCon 2010
Citation: Mvuma, G. 2010. Waste a necessary evil for economically impoverished communities in least developed countries (LCDc): a case study. 4-8 October 2010, pp 10
Series/Report no.: Conference Paper
Abstract: The nexus of rapid population growth and improved socio-economic status of a country have been established as having a close correlation to increasing quantities of wastes generated per capita. Various studies show that waste harvesters contribute to the economic growth in certain countries through the informal sector - although this contribution is not usually recognized within current financial models. In this article, we argue that informal sector waste harvesting is an essential societal “evil” for the economically impoverished communities particularly from a Least Developed Country (LCD) perspective. To illustrate the economic contribution of waste harvesters in terms of jobs creation and income generation, we examine a case of Lesotho as a least developed country. In our study, we examined quantities of waste generated per capita, analyzed the driving factors underlying such generation, and evaluated how efficient and effective waste management can potentially uplift the economic status of the waste harvesters. The average income derived from waste harvesting activities was compared to the average income of the lowest paid blue collar-job employees in Lesotho. The results indicated a strong link between the socio-economic upliftment of the welfare of the poor communities and waste harvesting activities. Secondly, the average income of a waste harvester was higher than that of the lowest income level formal sector employee. These findings suggest the urgent necessity for the governments of LCDs to consider formalizing aspects of this currently independent or completely informal economic sector. The highest priorities are to protect the health of the waste harvesters, and develop, the long-term sustainability of this emerging economic sector. Furthermore, findings of the more recent waste generation projection studies as reported in an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (ISWMP) document developed in 2006, commissioned by the government of Lesotho with the financial assistance from UNEP/UNDP confirm an increase in quantities of waste being generated in Lesotho.
Description: 20th WasteCon Conference and Exhibition, Emperor’s Palace, Gauteng, South Africa, 4-8 October 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/4531
Appears in Collections:Pollution and waste
General science, engineering & technology

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