HomeCase StudiesProject for Training and Raising the Awareness of Local Communities of the Poor Neighbourhoods of Bukavu Regarding Intelligent and Rational Management of Household Waste to Control Cholera, Diarrhoeal Diseases and Natural Disasters
Project for Training and Raising the Awareness of Local Communities of the Poor Neighbourhoods of Bukavu Regarding Intelligent and Rational Management of Household Waste to Control Cholera, Diarrhoeal Diseases and Natural Disasters
The intervention of the not-for-profit association ASADE occurred because the city of Bukavu has been the victim of an unprecedented outbreak of cholera since 2012. The flareup of fatal diseases, including cholera, has been the cause of many fatalities, estimated to exceed 2000 since 2012. ASADE is an NGO active within the South-Kivu health cluster and has participated in the investigation of major causes for the persistence of this disease. It was therefore determined that the insalubrity of the household waste in the poorest neighbourhoods of the city of Bukavu were one of the major causes of the spread of the disease and the persistence of this deadly disease, as well as other disasters. ASADE consequently decided to carry out a project for the purpose of training and raising the awareness of the local communities in the poor neighbourhoods of Bukavu about how to intelligently and rationally manage household wastes so as to reduce their impact on diarrhoeal diseases and cholera in the city, by reducing the pollution of oxygen caused by these wastes and preventing the disasters caused by these wastes. The activities included raising the awareness of households by going door-to-door, organising workshops and training seminars on the smart management of waste, as well as practical field activities on the separation of organic waste from plastic and metal waste and their reuse for the production of organic fertilisers and manufactured products.
The activity was financed by the personal funds of Ms Heik F P Lambert, a German partner of ASADE, and the own funds of ASADE. The other participants were the NGOs who are members of the environmental and agro-rural civil society, and those who are part of the consultation framework of national NGOs.
The community has clearly adopted the results of this project because it implements the new techniques for sorting organic waste and its reuse as an organic fertiliser. The local communities are disseminating the knowledge acquired to the other members of the communities. The local administration was responsible for ensuring our safety and providing support for awareness-raising among the communities. The activities of the project were coordinated by the Executive Committee of ASADE, led by the national coordinator, with a project manager in the field. They were assisted by five staff and relayed by community leaders.
The endangered group has been fully part of the CBDRM process, their representatives have participated in the information meetings about the project, and 50 victims worked as day jobbers for the project, including 20 women, 12 young people, 8 elderly people and 10 people with disabilities. The children were also supervised by community organisers at playgrounds.
The activities of ASADE were adapted to the priorities of communities who did not know how to dissociate the household waste and were just throwing it on public dump sites without thinking about the harmful consequences this has. The mechanisms for monitoring the change consists of continuing support for the recipient communities and their support for equipment or vehicles for transporting and evacuating the sorted waste. This supervision is coordinated by ASADE's field staff and ASADE's national coordinator.
The initiative was completely successful at the end of the programme because the agricultural seed provided to the victims had been multiplied by agriculture, distributed to other members of the communities and guaranteed to last three years after the programme. The same goes for farming tools for agriculture, and for the psycho-social support.
Life has indeed changed for a number of households in the city of Bukavu who have mastered these techniques for managing waste, because there has been a reduction of the presence of waste in the plots of certain households, resulting in a significant reduction of the threat of cholera and ensuing deaths in the communities.
The continuity of our project is possible with the financial and technical support of partners who can help us with more experienced waste management experts to build the capacity of our staff who support the communities, but especially to gain access to financial support for acquiring vehicles and other equipment for the disposal of waste, and financial aid for the creation of waste treatment centres in the city of Bukavu.
The laws and policies of our country do not adequately deal with CBDRM because they require CBDRM to pay taxes and duties, even though the government does not grant subsidies. Our project aims to disseminate the Provincial edict pertaining to the management of household waste in the provinces. We are working with NGOs who are members of the national consultation framework for national NGOs involved in the "Shifting the Power" programme financed by CAFOD DRC. The purpose is to influence the Congolese government so that it provides benefits to national NGOs and reduces their taxes and duties.
The head of the coordination of CBDRM at the local level is the coordinating office of UNOCHA, together with the office of the provincial planning ministry. ASADE provides local coordination via its steering committee headed by the national coordinator, a project manager and 8 field staff. In reality, there are not enough technical and financial resources to strengthen the capacity of the people working on CBDRM. We are asking for your intervention to be able to access these resources and to strengthen the capacity of CBDRM at the local level.
At the national and local level of government, funding is still provided for CBDRM in the budgets of each year, but unfortunately this funding is not always available for the benefit of national NGOs. We are asking for your financial support to create a synergy of NGOs for related advocacy purposes.
Our project has truly changed the practices and culture of CBDRM in the area of training and awareness-raising on waste management; this is because the practices of ASADE were seen as innovative, unlike all the previous approaches tried in the area. There is indeed a general recognition of the ASADE projects by the community, which is being inspired by the ASADE model for waste management practices at the household level, as well as by the CSO who had shared in the project ownership, and by the local government which has thanked ASADE for all the work accomplished in preventing and fighting cholera at the local level in DRC. Local meetings about participatory budgets would be the only means of influencing public authorities, but such meetings are still not funded.