WASTE management is still a major challenge in many urban centres in Tanzania as only 37 per cent of the more than 4,200 tonnes of solid waste per day is disposed of in dumpsites, signifying that 67 per cent of the trash remains uncollected in Dar es Salaam.
According to a report dubbed Dar es Salaam City Environment Outlook 2011 released recently, lack of equipment, poor infrastructure, inadequate financial resources and insufficient law enforcement are the main reasons behind inefficient waste collection.
"The estimated number of households receiving solid waste from municipal services implies that 700,000 households are not served, which represent 37 per cent of all households in the city," said the report which reflects a study carried out jointly by the Dar es Salaam City Council and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The report said solid waste generation has been steadily increasing in Dar es Salaam City from less than 2,000 tonnes per day in 1998 to more than 4,000 tonnes in 2009 and that the sold waste largely remains of foods and vegetables which contribute about 60 per cent.
"The main sources of solid waste in Dar es Salaam city are households, commercial activities, industries and markets," noted the report. The report observed that the increase in waste generation has not been accompanied by an equivalent increase in the capacity of the relevant urban authorities to deal with the problem, thus becoming one of the most pressing and challenging environmental problems in the city.
"It is clear that solid waste management in the city is inadequate, as it leaves 22 per cent, 34 per cent and 71.5 per cent of solid waste for Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke municipalities respectively uncollected," said the report.
The report further pointed out that there has been an increase in industrial and domestic effluents discharged into rivers and streams of Dar es Salaam city due to inadequate capacity for treatment and disposal.
"On-site sanitation in the form of latrines and septic tanks is dominant sanitation service in the city, used by 90 per cent of the population, while the remaining is served by a sewerage system," said the report.
Launching the report in the city recently, the Minister of State in the Vice-President's office (Environments), Dr Terezya Huvisa, said the report should be used as the key reference for the decision making and planning process by the city and town councils.
"Since the report analyses some scenarios and responses for action to safeguard the environment and human well-being in the city by giving some recommendations will be specific to key stakeholders," she said.