Cleanest Neighbourhood Program
Cleanest Neighbourhood Program builds community resilience, through innovative community-led competition, improving solid waste management.
EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA
Lack of reliable waste collection services in unplanned city areas. Leading to health problems and increased flooding during heavy rains.
We use competition, combined with providing skills and awareness to drive behaviour change. Communities in unplanned areas compete to become the cleanest community of a “ward”. This new innovative approach will encourage communities to take responsibility / pick up the broom to clean up their own neighbourhood. We create awareness and show solutions for waste problems through local government capacity development and community awareness raising and engagement. This way we empower communities to come up with their own solutions. The communities involved create winning criteria and a judgement team. The winning community is rewarded with a renovation to a public space.
Poor communities in Dar es Salaam lack resilience to even small amounts of rain. Due to a lack of waste collection services storm water drains and rivers are clogged with household waste and plastic bags. We think that through combining competition with awareness and more options for waste disposal and recycling, this will not only build resilience to local flooding, it will have a cascading effect across the city. Once communities become empowered and see the impacts first hand, they will be committed to keep their neighbourhood clean and will inspire other communities to do the same. We have seen first-hand that trash attracts trash – we think that clean can attract clean.
Working on waste is a unique issue for resilience because those it benefits most are those that contribute to the problem. Yet the benefits of better waste management at the community and household level are far-reaching: communities will directly benefit through environmental improvements, individuals through training and awareness, and city government through cost savings on infrastructure.
The programme will be implemented in one “ward” in Dar es Salaam which is made up of 3,000 households.
HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?
We have built relationships with key players from municipal governments to donors (UN, World Bank), entrepreneurs (recyclers, waste pickers) to organisations for local environmental initiatives. Linkages with all of these players will be key to fit with larger-scale projects and to show solutions that can come from unlikely communities and can be scaled up.
We improve solid waste management in unplanned areas and thereby improve residents’ lives. Yet trash can be extraordinary if you empower those same individuals to see waste as both a resource and a way to reduce their vulnerability to flooding.
Our idea includes capacity building from local government down to household level to take responsibility for solid waste. We recognise the gender sensitivity of this idea, with girls and women often taking care of the household waste, and men typically employed as waste collectors. We will empower both.
Because communities organise themselves to innovate about waste while getting training about options, we build in flexibility. Designing with communities instead of for them is at the core of the idea. We provide training, awareness and tools, but do not prescribe a solution.
Resource sustainability is a core element of waste management. Waste services create employment and communities need to pay for those services. Many types of waste are a resource, often with an unknown/untapped market. In our awareness campaign we focus on re-using and recycling resources. This way we build connections between waste, environment, flooding and health.
Yes, for two or more years
I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
This idea will be implemented by BORDA (Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association) and Nipe Fagio (“Give me the broom!” in Swahili). We worked together for two years on an urban river restoration project, which also used a behaviour change approach to improve community waste management.