Micro and Small Enterprises in Solid Waste Management: Experience of Selected Cities and Towns in Ethiopia: A Review

Document Type : Review Paper


Department of Environmental Health Science, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia, P.O.BOX 235, Harar, Ethiopia



Municipalities in developing countries spend the highest proportion of their annual budget on unsatisfactory solid waste management service. Until recently, solid waste management services in Ethiopia were mainly the responsibilities of municipalities, which culminated in inadequate service provision. Thus, the integration of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) by the government has recently being considered as an option. Participation of MSEs in SWM started in 2003/04 in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia and expanded to other cities following the proclamation of a National Solid Waste program in 2007. This review is aimed at identifying the role of MSEs in solid waste management in selected cities, including the opportunities and challenges for future directions. Limited resources and lack of support, perception and awareness of the community, inadequate training, unorganized fee collection strategy and limited revenue were among the challenges identified. The benefits and potential opportunities include organized and quality service delivery, environmental protection and safety, job opportunity, willingness to pay and social equity. In conclusion, the findings in this review show the importance of MSEs in solving solid waste management problems. However, the challenges need due considerations and appropriate interventions such as legalization of the informal sector, clear working guidelines and regulations, close support and monitoring, and transparent system in general.


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