House hold waste management


The survey at Zebegna sefer & Akaki


The survey on household waste collection, source separation, and disposal was done to use the result as an indicator of the current situation in Addis Ababa and its outskirts.


Two areas were selected, one is at Akaki and the other around the centre of Addis Ababa called Zebegna sefer. The reason for selecting these areas is because of the availability of groups whom we worked with in the past.


It was planned to obtain information from 400 households in Akaki and from 250 households in Zebegna sefer. It was then possible to achieve 100% in Akaki where as the achievement in Zebegna sefer was about 67%.


The survey has made a number of issues clearer. A complete survey analysis has not been done because of shortage of time. Altogether 568 households were covered. There are more than 40 questions in each survey for which responses have been given. It was found that a complete analysis requires more time than given. How ever, some of the highlights have been taken and these are presented as lessons learned as follows.


Findings of the assessment

Zebegna sefer -- Addis Ababa


1) The result of the survey in Zebegna sefer showed that household waste is an aggregate of all substances from a household ready for disposal. These include paper, vegetable peelings, onion seed coats, broken plastic and festal, spider net, soil and dust, pieces of thread, animal faeces, grasses, used shoes, pieces of cloth, small bottles, soot, used car parts, etc.


2) The waste aggregate more frequent and most abundant in the whole mass of household waste is house sweeping, which is composed of soil and dust followed by pieces of paper and vegetable peelings. The frequency of razor blade appearing as waste is also shown as high. Ash swept out from kitchens is more in quantity than other waste, however, it is not removed every day. Households which have regular chat chewing members have a lot of waste in the form of chat sticks and leaves.


3) It has been learned that there are differences observed between well to do families and poor households, in as far as household waste separation is concerned. Strict separation of household waste is done in poor households, since they use some of their waste. The survey has shown that poor households use their cowdung to plaster their floor and walls. They also use the cake for household cooking. The survey has also shown that the pieces of paper, thread and festal are burned to initiate three stone fire burning. Used paper such as used exercise books of their children are reused as toilet paper by the family. The poor households do not have much to sell for " Korales" other than their over used slippers which are of no further use except recycling.

The well to do families responded that they don't separate household waste at source. However, the children at home collect some of the saleable used bottles, glasses, and nail paint containers to sell when the " Korales" come.


4) The responsibility of household waste collection and separation also varies between the well to do and the poor families. In poor families, it is the mother assisted by her daughters (if she has), who handles the household cleaning and separating of the waste. The male members of the family do not participate in these activities, except that they sometime involve themselves when the waste is bulky and some physical help is required to transport it to damping places.


In case of the well to do families, it is servants who collect and dispose off household wastes.


5) The survey showed that household waste is accumulated in either a used tin container ( " baldi " ) or used up basket until the time that it too will either be thrown any where or dumped in dump trucks as waste. Few respondents mentioned that used festal are also reused for collecting wastes.


6) In the survey area, it has been observed that there is practically no land fill to dump the waste neither is there any container /skip/ placed by municipality. All the waste is dumped into a river found at a distance of between 10 - 300 mts. Very few of the respondents in the survey area assured that they dump their waste when the dump truck arrives for collection.


7) The outcome of the survey indicated that collectors of reusable materials called

" Korales " do visit them frequently and buy bottles (big and small), nail paint containers, used shoes, broken cooking jars, etc. The lowest price is the one given for small bottles which is 0.10 birr and the highest is the price offered for broken cooking Jars and used shoes which is birr 2.00.


One of the interesting results of the survey as it relates to " Korales " is the money from sale of used material is put into. In most of the poor households the money goes to the mother. She in turn buys household consumables such as coffee etc. In contrast the well to do households leave the money for children for their extra requirements.


8) In the survey area, apparently there is no regulation, according to respondents, concerning the distance that household have to keep clean out side their compound. Most of them agree, that if every one has to keep his/her own compound clean, then every thing will be clean. Some of the respondents indicated that there is no tradition of cleaning the area outside of their compound. They further stressed that no one has so far come to advise them to do so.


9) There was a question on whether or not there is a responsible body for safe disposal of household waste. They responded that there used to be some inspection in the past. But, currently there is no one controlling the safe disposal of wastes. They were further interrogated as to why there is no inspector these days. They said that no attention is given by the Kebele for safe disposal of waste. Some households blame paucity of inspection on the physical condition of the village, which they stated were not amicable for inspection. Whether or not penalty is being given to outlawing community member was also asked. It was replied that previously, monetary penalty for mismanagement of wastes was given and the amount used to be birr 5.00 in most instances. These days, let alone the penalty even that system for inspection is non existent.


10) The survey showed that no body is responsible for the waste dumped in the river near by. Some of the waste is taken away by the river water. Otherwise, the rest remains piled in the river gorge and on its banks. Few households witnessed to have seen the waste being burnt.


11) Finally, it was asked what would they suggest as a better reuse and disposal of wastes. Many respondents clearly answered that they don't exactly know the advantage of waste and hence can not suggest any thing on the reuse of final wastes dumped. The safe disposal can be handled if skip / containers / would be placed for the villagers so that every body would dump his/her waste in the containers, which was the suggestion of most households. Surprisingly, there were few households who feel that dumping the waste in the river is still the best solution.


The Akaki area.


1. The survey on household waste in Akaki has shown that the type of waste is more or less similar to that of Zebegna Sefer except that they don't have as much paper in the whole mass of the waste as is the situation in Zebegna Sefer.


2. A portion of the respondents said that they don't separate waste at the household level. On the contrary, there are households who replied that waste is separated at the household level. The type of waste separated at the household level usually is the manure and dried grass and leaves of " chat. " The purpose of the manure is to plaster walls and floors, whereas the grass and chat leaves are fed to domestic animals.


3. The municipality gives service to the town of Akaki. The survey showed that skips are placed in some neighbourhoods. However, the number of skips is not enough and a portion of the neighbourhoods are obliged to throw their garbage into an open area. Some of the households, who are not enjoying municipal services, have their own way of household waste disposal.


The survey has discovered that every household has its own pit dug in the compound for day to day waste disposal. The most interesting activity after dumping the waste in the pits is the burning process. All waste dumped will remain in the well during the monsoon rains but will automatically be burnt when the dry season starts which is September in the present case.


4. Another discovery during the survey in Akaki was the information on the absence of inspector responsible for safe disposal of household wastes. Many of the respondents confirmed that they haven't seen any sanitation inspector in their area. They further made mention of the presence of sanitary guards as members of the staff in the Kebele offices in the past.


What are the reasons for poor efficiency in general?


Who is the culprit for the inefficient collection and disposal of household wastes is still a big question mark. Government has assigned the responsibility to the Health Bureau of Region 14, which is making its utmost with the limited available resource. On the other hand, there is practically no effort by the community to assist in this regard. Private sector involvement is not also that significant. Government has issued the following prohibitions and restrictions to facilitate the safe collection and disposal of solid wastes under Region 14.

The regulation for hygiene and environmental health states that:


1. It is prohibited to dispose off dry wastes in the streets, squares, rivers, drainage

channels and other unauthorised places.


2. Every person is bound to collect dry waste into the skips prepared for waste

accumulation or into his/her own container meant for the purpose, till such time that

assigned workers would come and take the waste away.


3. It is not allowed to accumulate solid waste by any interested party unless the container

designed meeting the following specifications.


* Water tight ;

* Easy to clean ;

* Provided with a light cover ;

* Well protected against rain and rodents.


4. Any waste, found within 20 mts. outside one's compound is considered to belong to

the same household.


Local authorities, in collaboration with Health Bureau of Region 14, tried to enforce the regulation by employing sanitary guards and inspectors to punish violators. But not much was improved through enforcement of regulation.


The small survey done by ENDA, for the only purpose of this workshop, showed that the regulations are not at all obeyed by the households visited during the survey. The survey result pointed out that even the sanitary guards and community health inspectors, who used to supervise in the past, no more exist.


A case study done in Region 14 (1997) indicated that the problem is not solved because the central problem has not been touched, which is the inadequacy of the waste collection structure in general.


The same study indicated some of the management problems as follows :-

* refuse accumulate because the containers are emptied infrequently;

* the lift over height is quite high, which made it different for women and children to

empty waste in the container;

* people often have to travel more than 300 meters to reach the nearest containers

which means that containers are spread thinly and this apparently discourages

households from dumping waste in the containers.


According to ENDA 1997, the responsibility for garbage collection is wrongly placed within the Health Bureau of Region 14. It is considered a burden to Health Bureau of Region 14, with all the additional and complex health problems that need be attended by the Bureau.


Poor road system, connecting the different neighbourhoods in Addis Ababa, is also one of the limitations mentioned in the study.


Limited community participation has also been mentioned as one of the central problems for the inefficient garbage collection and disposal.


Looking at the problem in general, the very first move required appears to be improving the system of garbage collection by forming a different body responsible with all the capacity to operate full-fledged.


Without tackling the core problems as mentioned above, it is needless to expect solutions from either issuing regulation or blaming the community for poor collaboration.


Concluding remarks


1. The survey made by ENDA-Ethiopia has revealed some facts which other studies didn't go into details especially in separation of wastes. There was a general and biased understanding that separation of waste at source is not done except for the most usable ones to sell to " Korales." This was disproved by the survey results and in fact there is practically separation of waste at source by households.


But, which portion of the society is doing separation at source is the issue. The result of the survey showed that well to do families do not separate their waste, except for the most important ones, which are separated before being mixed up with wastes.

Waste is separated in Addis Ababa by low income groups, especially focusing on the ones needed as fuel for cooking, that is paper, broken festal, grasses, leaves ofchat etc.


2. There is very little involvement either by CBOs or the responsible government body, for household waste collection and its safe disposal. The reality in the different surveys showed that there exists a new regulation issued but never implemented. Inspection and control have totally been abandoned.


3. People, if their awareness is up graded, are more than committed for such responsibilities. In fact, involving communities, with delegated responsibilities could have been the best step towards efficient waste collection and disposal. This has not been done and the problem is worsening.


4. There is a good lesson to learn from the experience in Akaki about safe waste disposal. The tradition in many neighbourhoods, in Addis Ababa is throwing waste either in rivers or on any available open place. However, some of the neighbourhoods in Akaki have the culture of preparing pits where they dump their waste and burn it when dry.


5. None of the investigations made revealed whether there is any practice to compost household wastes. This shows that there is literally very little experience in transforming household waste into composts. There is practically very little attention by either government or households for composting. The reasons for this could be lack of awareness and training in this technique, or the little recognition given to the subject by the responsible government body.


6. It is learnt that the burden of the responsibility from cleaning the house up to storing and throwing it into either containers or dump trucks is mainly the responsibility of women. The participation by men is in transporting the waste to distant collection points. Even this is a rare situation otherwise everything is left for mothers and their daughters. Some respondents replied boldly that such work is not meant for men.




1. The efforts being made by the Health Bureau of Region 14 to collect and dispose of wastes is encouraging. This is entirely government effort. In line with this, it is highly important if other partners, interested NGOs, the private sector and community participate in waste management in general. To involve the community in the whole waste management venture, two things are important:

i. Strong awareness creation undertaking to win the commitments of the

community for such activities.


ii. The use of existing social infrastructure ( Edir ) for the purpose of informing, or even involving the community in the system of safe solid waste management.


2. People are not encouraged at all to have their own means of waste disposal. The experience in Akaki is a very interesting lesson where people collect waste into pits dug for the same purpose in their compounds and burn the whole thing when the dry season comes. It will be wise to encourage such a tradition.


3. Attention should be given for reusable household wastes. Strengthening the recycling sector is a way of managing household waste. The informal recycling sector is dependent on many circumstances in as far as household reusable wastes are concerned.

Informal recyclers have to be encouraged through abolition or reduction of sales taxes, and by providing them space to produce their materials etc. and with other incentives.


4. The possibility of using the biodegradable wastes for energy purposes is not known in Addis Ababa so far. There is, therefore, the need to encourage the private sector to involve in waste generated energy production and this also entails strengthening research on appropriate technology to produce cookers and stoves operated by waste fuel. The biodegradable waste can also be used as natural fertiliser, if composted. Composting has to also be promoted by all actors who have the concern in poverty alleviation's and environmental protection.





With its over 58 000 cattle heads and more than 9 000 sheep and goats, Region 14 produces a lot of manure. No data are available for the production of manure in Addis Ababa and it is difficult to evaluate the total production.


The manure is being used in two major ways: the greatest part of the manure is dried into flat dung cakes (known as kubet in Amharic) and used as energy source, another part is used as fertiliser, especially by the vegetable producers and the rest, especially the dung, is disposed of as waste through the sewage canals. The cattle's urine is evacuated through little gutters which join the sewerage system.


Vegetable producers systematically use manure on their vegetable farms, together with chemical fertilisers. The organic manure is for the soil, the chemical fertiliser is to quickly obtain green "luxuriant" plants


The dung energy consumption in Addis Ababa is estimated to be 43.2 Tcal.


These cakes are used more especially for baking a the thick Ethiopian bread, known as Abesha dabo, as it provides a slow regular heat allowing for regular baking without burning. The bread is wrapped in false banana leaves which protect it against bad odours due to the manure. Dung cakes are sometimes used to bake injera, which is part of the staple food in Addis Ababa and many parts of Ethiopia, but to prepare the dung cakes, the manure is mixed with water and dry grass into flat cakes of about 30 cm diameter. They are left to dry in the sun. They are easy to transport because of their light weight. They are often stored in a dry place or under a corrugated metal sheet until time comes when they are in high demand and their price increases, i.e. during the rainy season and when there is a celebration and the abaesha dabo is prepared for the guests whole will come and visit the family. The work is entirely done by women.


Preparation of the dung cakes requires sufficient space to put the cakes in the open air and let them dry. Dairy producers living in the middle of the town used to have their dung cakes left to dry on the open roads, but new regulations to protect the urban environment nowadays forbid this practice, entailing loss of income for the women, addition dung in the sewers and higher need for fuelwood


The are sold at Birr per unit.





Amare Wodajo. 1998. New tendencies for the cooperation between private sector organisations and the informal sector. UNECA, Promotion of the Informal Sector for Development in Africa, phase II. Pilot Assistance to Ethiopia. National Workshop, Africa Hall, Addis Ababa 12-13 February 1998. Document N" 3.


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CSA. 1995. The 1994 Population and housing census of Ethiopia. Results for Addis Ababa. Vol. I. Statistical Report.


CSA and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. 1997. Report on urban informal sector. Sample survey, December 1996. Statistical Bulletin 174. Central Statistical Authority, Addis Ababa.


Gemelew Ayalew. 1998. New tendencies in Government policies towards informal sector operators. UNECA, Promotion of the Informal Sector for Development in Africa, phase II. Pilot Assistance to Ethiopia. National Workshop, Africa Hall, Addis Ababa 12-13 February 1998. Document N" 2.


Lakew Alemu. 1998. New trends in financing the informal sector operators in Ethiopia. UNECA, Informal Sector for Development in Africa Pilot Assistance to Ethiopia. National Workshop, Africa Hall, Addis Ababa 12-13 February 1998. Document N" 4.



Alfonsi A. 1997. A decentralised sanitation risk control system in Addis Ababa: principles, strategies and constraints. Concept paper - Draft. Federal Republic of Ethiopia - Region 14 Administration, CERFE, UNDP/World Bank Regional Water and Sanitation Group.


Assefa Hagos. 1997. Measures pertaining to urban environmental health problems in Africa. The case of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). National Urban Planning Institute, Addis Ababa.


Bigston Arne and Negatu Mekonnen. 1995. Some results on the level and distribution of income in urban Ethiopia. Paper presented at the 5th Annual Conference of the Ethiopian Economic Association, Nazret, 30 November -2 December 1995. Department of Economics, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa.


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CERFE. 1997a. Environmental sanitation case study in Addis Ababa. Final report. vol. I. Main report. Federal Republic of Ethiopia - Region 14 Administration, CERFE, UNDP/World Bank Regional Water and Sanitation Group.


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CRDA (Christian Releif and Development Association). 1997. NGO position paper on urban development. Final draft. Urban Working Group. Addis Ababa.


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P.O. Box 278× Addis Ababa× Ethiopia× Tel. (251-1) 51 21 86× Fax: (251-1) 51 45 80×








ENDA-Ethiopia is the Ethiopian branch of ENDA TW (Environmental Development Action in the Third World) based in Dakar, Senegal. Its aims are to support local initiatives to fight poverty, preserve or improve the environment and promote active citizenship in Ethiopia. Its present activities centre on urban popular economy and ecology, environmental education, sustainable farming and communication.




Enda-Ethiopia acts as a facilitator


In dealing with grassroots groups (women, youth, craftsmen, urban farmers, etc.), Enda-Ethiopia definitely refuses to come up with its own projects for implementation by or with the members of these groups. All actions or projects are expected to be generated by the group members. Enda-Ethiopia's approach is to help the local people to seek appropriate solutions to their problems, make the most of local resources, negotiate and identify means of action, organise their activities and assess their own methods and results.


Enda-Ethiopia does not work in isolation


Enda-Ethiopia believes individual efforts have a sustainable impact in so far they combine with the actions of others. All endeavours initiated by Enda-Ethiopia are therefore undertaken in association with other partners. The participation of all those involved at different levels in the development process is sought.






Supporting the efforts of grass roots groups in Addis Ababa to improve living within their environment


Enda-Ethiopia works in different kebeles in Addis Ababa to support the undertaking and implementation of development efforts by kebele residents, especially women and youth. Actions undertaken are those which ENDA-Ethiopia's partner groups in the kebeles consider to be a priority and are willing to tackle on the basis of their means, resources and efforts.


Enda-Ethiopia intervenes by bringing technical support, providing information, introducing experiences from elsewhere, helping groups to get organised, arranging training, promoting exchange with other groups, fostering interface with existing institutions, introducing saving and credit schemes and raising funds.


The activities in which ENDA-Ethiopia presently participates include

- saving and credit schemes with groups of destitute women and girls

- income-generation schemes with destitute women

- construction of access road.




One of ENDA-Ethiopia's approach in the fight against poverty is to promote urban agriculture, so that bare plots in the cities can be used to produce nutritious food.


Enda-Ethiopia's present activities in urban agriculture include:

- collaborating with a vegetable producers' cooperative to solve their problem of water supply;

- introduction of bio-intensive gardening techniques;

- support to a youth group starting vegetable production and planning to start dairy farming.




Enda-Ethiopia's programme for the promotion and expansion of sustainable agriculture in Ethiopia has 3 major components:


Arrangements are underway for launching a training programme for farmers and extension workers in sustainable farming techniques.


This entails developing links between individuals, institutions and programs carrying out sustainable agriculture activities in Ethiopia, with a view to optimize sharing of expertise, know-how, resources, data and research findings on sustainable agriculture. The establishment of the Forum for Environment, of which ENDA-Ethiopia is a founding member, is part of this effort.


This includes documenting experiences, and collecting and disseminating information on both indigenous knowledge and modern approaches supportive of sustainable agriculture; the magazine on environment and development is part of this effort.




Publication of a magazine on environmental and development issues in Ethiopia


This magazine, which is now endorsed by the Forum for Environment, is designed to

- discuss and reflect on environmental and development issues in Ethiopia;

- facilitate dissemination and sharing of information on indigenous knowledge and on environmental activities and initiatives in the country; and

- increase access to information for people working in the regions.

It is mainly intended for agricultural extension workers, community development workers, teachers, health workers and local government officials working in Ethiopia's different regions.




The Popular Urban Environmental Economy Programme is an ENDA programme conducted in different countries where ENDA is operational. The programme focuses on urban waste management as an entry point into urban management. The programme has an operational component and a research/capitalisation and dissemination/communication component. ENDA-Ethiopia is involved in the second component.




Action-oriented research was conducted in

Three categories were made for the study.

1. An assessment of waste generated and thrown from households and other contributors.

2. Waste disposal from industries and other institutions

3. An assessment of the recycling sector in Addis Ababa.


The part of the solid waste generated from households and business areas was taken as the largest assessment of all the others. It is presupposed that the assessment includes young actors as enumerators and action performers to record a lively experience of waste management in identified areas.


It is more than clear that a study to cover the whole of Addis Ababa could

not be undertaken. So it was decided to carryout the study in selected places. There was no intention to develop criteria to select where to conduct the study. It is understood that waste is being generated from each and every household in Addis Ababa. The only opportunity we wanted to exploit was to work with target groups we know most. This was decided mainly for two reasons:-

1. The feeling of responsibility and sincereness is more in group with already

contacts has been made.

2. The work is easier for target groups from the same area than to bring and

introduce some other new faces to undertake a study in an area which they

don't know before.


Based on the above mentioned understanding, we identified the areas where two of our most relevant groups are found.


One is located in the centre of Addis Ababa called zebegna sefer where as the other is at the southern sub-urban part of the city called Akaki.


The survey was started in early October 1998 in an action oriented manner.

Three sets of functions were designed together with target groups as viable approach for an action oriented exercise to see into waste situations in Addis Ababa. These were:

1. Taking pictures of the most fascinating places of waste accumulation together with interviewing the affected citizens found in the vicinity as a matter of coincidence by going around the villages.

2. Compile the interviews and arrange the pictures to serve as supporting testimonials for the compilations of the interviews.

3. Convey the outcome of the survey in an impressive way in styles (like in dramas, debates) to win the attention of the audience to be able achieve targeted goals.


As an introduction to the exercise orientation was given to both the youth groups at the ENDA Ethiopia's office. Each group was provided with a camera and the necessary stationery. There was no questionnaire or any format developed to guide the survey. This was deliberately done to encourage the groups use their own talents and approach to be able to maximize their gain from the interviews.


Deployed in different directions for the survey, the groups brought interesting information within almost ten days.


Each group was able to conduct up to 50 interviews and make up to 30 slide filmed photographic records of improperly disposed wastes.


Representative historical happenings ascertaining the seriousness of problems of waste in Addis Ababa.


1. A man who lost his wife because of an ailment brought as a result of solid and liquid waste disposed very closed to his house, was a real agony to him and to all who heard about it.

2. A women who prepares local bread for sale but is using paper and other dried bio-degradable waste from the nearby waste disposal site as fuelwood. Because of the proximity of the waste thrown to where she bakes bread, flies were observed disturbing her.

3. Some households are observed disposing their waste into the river basin because of absence of skip in the area. This practice has contaminated the river water to the extent of restraining the movement of the water.

4. Wrongly placed waste collection skips along the asphalt road were observed dangerous to children crossing the road to dump their waste.

5. A man living nearby waste disposal skip was found psychologically affected for the reason that he found his son (small) blowing used up " condom " from the skips.

6. A situation where the local administration constructed a common latrine for a group of households but the people didn't want to use it because of mismanagement and even went to the extent of asking the local administration to close it for there was an incident where one of the children of the village was about to be drawned into the latrine well. Another situation observed was that the recklessness of the villagers which went to the extent of throwing dead animals into the latrine.

7. Wrong alignment of open drainage ditches and misuse of the ditches by the community has also been a cause for waste accumulation. In some places it was observed that the liquid waste does not move through the ditches. Rather, it stands still. On the other hand, the community does not also use the ditch for the purpose it was designed. Even dry solid waste was being dumped into the drainage ditches. To check on the acceptance of ditch construction the people were enquired whether they appreciate the construction of ditches or not they prefer if ditches were not constructed.

8. The community pays very little attention to waste management. This was proved as a result of the survey in the habit the people have developed in sending small boys and girls for waste disposal whose ages couldn't allow them to either carry the solid waste or even dump the waste in the skip which is too high to them to empty the waste into the skips.

9. A woman who used to make her livelihood from sale of a local beverage called " Tela " has now stopped her business since all the people come to dump their waste in the skip placed in front of her house and her customers refused to take drinks in a dirty place where all garbage is seen right in front.

10. Victims of any circumstances are always the disabled. A crippled young man told enumerators that of all the places in the vicinity, his place is very dirty. This is because, the others have all the energy to tell people not to dump their wastes in front of their house. But, since he is disabled and can not see them or even has no force to stop them from doing it, he is affected more than anyone in the surrounding.

These are events extracted from the study to show the worsening trend of

waste management in Addis Ababa.


What after the groups finish with the survey?


The survey is a way of getting the feeling on the status of waste in Addis Ababa. Once, we feel that enough material has been collected from the survey, a series of steps to raise the awareness of the community in meetings to be arranged with the respective Kebeles will be undertaken.


In due course of the process, different styles of presentation are being agreed upon with the groups we are working in both the places. Mainly we have identified three functions:-

1. Prepare a script for a drama play to depict the real situation in an action supported style.

2. Based on an identified topic a debate will be performed by the groups themselves to inculcate the realization about waste in the minds of the community.

3. The third function is showing the slide film to the community and make oral explanation for further clarity.


The preparation is on course but, since especially, the Akaki youth are still students in the high school the finalization on some of the functions to be performed is taking more time than expected.


As preparatory to debate performance the youth group identified the awareness level of the community as a topic for the debate. They divided themselves into two groups and performed the debate one group being in favor and another against. This is based on the real situation they have observed during the survey.


One of the groups, putting its arguments in favor, had the following points made to strengthen its position that people are aware of waste problem in the city.

1. People have responded positively for the study. This shows that they are aware of the problem and have some ambition may be these surveyors will take this issue to the attention of those who can resolve it.

2. They argue that when the drainage ditch is clogged by dry waste they have reported the situation for the near by local administration, these shows that they are very well aware of waste problem.

3. In some places, some people are observed to take the initiative to burn some dead animals thrown in the waste collection skips. This is a good example which shows that the awareness about waste and its dangers is high.

4. What ever the community does is knowingly because of lack of the enabling alternatives to solve the problems. Some of the inhabitants have boldly spoken of their purposeful breach of sanitation rules for they don't have proper latrine and waste accumulation skips in the area.


Those who wanted to argue that people were unaware had the following points against their opponents.

1. Most people do not care about others. If they clean their compound, they prefer to throw their waste not too far from where they live. They don't even realize that the open space where they throw the waste is also a play ground to their children.

2. Waste management at household level is taken to be the task of women at home. On this, there exists a very serious gender issue in the Ethiopian situation.

Some male household members were asked on why they don't want to participate in waste management at household level. What they replied was, it is not meant for men. Though the answer seems to be chauvinistic it is connected to ignorance and unawareness.

3. Small children whose height is by far less than the collection skip and who do not have force to carry the waste baskets are given the responsibilities of waste disposal to the skips. What makes it more interesting is in the first place they drop almost half of the waste before they reach the skips and secondly, even after reaching nearby the skip the clearance of the skip from the ground is too high that the children are unable to empty their waste into the skips. This is done, according to the debaters, because people have less awareness about waste and its proper management.

4. Even grown ups bring their waste and throw it around the skip knowing that the skips are already full. This shows according to debaters, that they have some ignorance and could not realize that it is woeful to dump waste on a skip, which is already full.


Follow up of the waste cycle study


The waste cycle study will end up with its action-oriented performance after results of the assessment have been presented to the respective communities at Akaki and Zebegna Sefer. The need for a further follow up has been realized. This situation was also very well understood by the youth group who were taking part in the assessment that follow up is needed to promote the results of the assessment to practical measures to be taken by communities ready for action.


A series of discussions were made with the youth groups on this issue. They all agreed on the necessity for follow up and came out with suggestions on the best mechanism for follow up. Two ideas were brought forward.

1. Consider the youth groups to act as representatives of the community and

serve as bridge between ENDA-Ethiopia and the community.

2. Representative from the community be nominated to serve as delegates of the community for further steps to be taken.


The first option of taking the groups themselves as representatives of the community was assumed to have its own problems. Problem of recognition by the community as they have not been elected by them is mentioned as one of the core problems. Not only because they were not elected by the community, but also for the reason that they are children of the community they will not have recognition in convincing and organizing the people to dedicate themselves for practical activities. This is a cultural barrier in the Ethiopian society that elderly people should not be told or guided by their children. Rather the elders are considered to be informed of many things better than the young generation. Because of this the first option has not received unanimous support from discussants.


The second idea of encouraging the community to elect some recognised representatives from among themselves was supported by almost all participants of the meeting. The logic in favor of this option was, people usually respect their own nominees provided that the nominated people are socially recognisable for one reason or another. If this option is supported, there was a discussion initiated on what would be the subsequent role of the youth group after presenting the issue for the community. The fact that the group can act as bridge between ENDA-Ethiopia and community representatives has not been taken a simple task. It is owing to lack of communication that gaps are created and the role of the youth group to link information to and from the community is assumed an important activity. Aside from this, it has also be realized that the groups should serve as measuring yards to monitor waste condition in their respective communities in a consistent manner.