Municipal Solid Waste Management in Kasese, Uganda
Municipal solid waste (MSW) management systems of many developing countries are commonly constrained by factors such as limited financial resources and poor governance, making it a difficult proposition to break with complex, entrenched and unsustainable technologies and systems. This paper highlights strategic partnerships as a way to affect a distributed agency among several sets of stakeholders to break so-called path dependencies, which occur when such unsustainable pathways arise, stabilize and become self-reinforcing over time. Experiences from a North-South collaborative effort provide some lessons in such partnership building: In Uganda and Denmark respectively, the World Wildlife Fund and the network organization access2innovation have mobilised stakeholders around improving the MSW management system in Kasese District. Through a MSW management system characterisation and mapping exercise, some emergent lessons and guiding principles in partnership building point to both pitfalls and opportunities for designing sustainable pathways. Firstly, socio-technical lock-in effects in the MSW management system can stand in the way of partnerships based on introducing biogas or incineration technologies. However, opportunities in the MSW management system can exist within other areas, and synergies can be sought with interlinking systems such as those represented with sanitation.
Waste Management and Research, 2014, Vol 32, Issue 11, p. 1063-1072