Mobilising communities to manage solid waste and play a greater role in creating a greener, healthier and more liveable environment

Mandalay community-based solid waste management

Urban environments are particularly vulnerable to climate change as unpredictable rainfall causes flooding,which is compounded by unorganised disposal of solid waste. In Mandalay, community-based solid waste management efforts are making a difference. Photo: Alan Kadduri

In support of the Mandalay Green City Agenda, NIRAS is rolling out pilot projects to active city dwellers in waste management and raise awareness about the interlinkages between solid waste, climate change, flooding, sanitation, and health.

March 10, 2020
  • SDG: #5, #6, #11, #12
  • SECTORS: Development Consulting, Environment and Ecology
  • COUNTRIES: Myanmar
  • DONOR: The Asian Development Bank
  • CLIENT: The Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC)
  • DURATION: October 2018 - October 2022

With a population of 1.25 million inhabitants, Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar. It is experiencing rapid urbanisation and battles with severe environmental degradation, inadequate infrastructure, and basic service provision. In an attempt to tackle this situation, the Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) launched the Mandalay City Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan in 2017, which is considered to be the very first initiative aimed at addressing the city’s waste problem in a holistic and integrated manner, with the vision of eventually developing a resource-efficient and zero-waste management system.

The plan is furthermore in line with the Mandalay Green City Agenda, which has been established to guide the city toward becoming a clean and prosperous green urban area by 2040.

Despite the goodwill and intention, the Action Plan cannot be realised without the involvement of Mandalay’s citizens as they play a crucial role in creating a greener, healthier and more liveable environment.

Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Community-Based Solid Waste Management (CBSWM) project aims to convince the city dwellers that the basis for all successful waste management operations rests in the willingness of citizens to follow good practices and maintain the discipline to do so consistently.

The CBSWM project pilots sustainable environmental improvements through better solid waste management by working directly with communities on resilient infrastructure and service upgrade.

The project has three main components

  • Component 1: Community mobilization, awareness raising, and piloting
  • Component 2: Sustaining and scaling community action
  • Component 3: Support to ADB Future Cities Women Initiative on sustainable waste management and livelihoods

Our approach

  • Define community and pilot project area and organize advocacy meetings
  • Establish a Ward Resilience Committee (WRC) and Ward Resilience Plan (WRP)
  • Develop awareness programs on interlinkages between solid waste, climate change impacts, flooding, sanitation, and health
  • Implement, test and assessment in the pilot area
  • Scale to the remaining wards in the project area (Year 2)
  • Backstopping and further capacity building of WRCs and MCDC staff
  • Input on women-led recycling business. Scoping exercise of potential livelihoods activities during the pilot year. Recommend how these activities could be linked to the Future Cities, Future Women Initiative

Mandalay community-based solid waste management

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