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Bridging Weak Links of Solid Waste Management in Informal Settlements

Journal article
Authors Jutta Gutberlet
Jaan-Henrik Kain
Belinda Nyakinya
Michael Oloko
Patrik Zapata
María José Zapata Campos
Published in Journal of Environment and Development
Volume 26
Issue 1
Pages 106-131
ISSN 1070-4965
Publication year 2017
Published at School of Public Administration
Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Centre for Business in Society
Pages 106-131
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1177/1070496516672263
Keywords household waste, solid waste management, system dynamics, action net, informal settlement, Kisumu, Kenya
Subject categories Other Civil Engineering, Architectural Engineering, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Abstract

Many cities in the global South suffer from vast inadequacies and deficiencies in their solid waste management. In the city of Kisumu in Kenya, waste management is frag- mented and insufficient with most household waste remaining uncollected. Solid waste enters and leaves public space through an intricate web of connected, mostly informal, actions. This article scrutinizes waste management of informal settlements, based on the case of Kisumu, to identify weak links in waste manage- ment chains and find neighborhood responses to bridge these gaps. Systems theory and action net theory support our analysis to understand the actions, actors, and processes associated with waste and its management. We use qualitative data from fieldwork and hands on engagement in waste management in Kisumu. Our main conclusion is that new waste initiatives should build on existing waste management practices already being performed within informal settlements by waste scavengers, waste pickers, waste entrepreneurs, and community-based organizations.

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