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Mogadishu, 7 Nov 12
As part of the multi-partner, European Union-funded project Sustainable Employment Creation and Improved Livelihoods for Vulnerable Communities in Mogadishu (SECIL), which is directed by UN-Habitat Somalia, a sustainable solid waste collection system will be set up in the four pilot districts of Hamarweyne, Hamarjajab, Shingani, and Waberi.

In order to assess the current knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding waste, UN-Habitat Somalia contracted the Somali NGO Hijra to conduct a survey in September 2012 of households and businesses in Mogadishu. Based on this and a recent strategic sector analysis by SECIL partner Human Relief Foundation, the most suitable garbage collection system is being identified.

The SECIL project is being implemented in close cooperation with the Benadir Regional Administration, which is responsible for providing basic services to the citizens of Mogadishu. Since the administration is not yet able to fully provide the services, a public–private partnership is envisaged.

In order to strengthen the waste management capacities of the Benadir Regional Administration and relevant district staff, a training session was organized by SECIL partners CESVI and Human Relief Foundation at the administration headquarters from 5 to 7 September 2012. The Mayor of Mogadishu, Mohamed Ahmed Nur, officially opened the session, which was the first of its kind. Over the 3 days, 13 women and 21 men learned about key issues related to waste sources, management, and recycling.

The training session disclosed some alarming facts about the health and safety issues related to waste collection in the city, thereby highlighting the importance of the intervention: 21 out of the 34 participants had had their skin pricked by a hypodermic needle while handling urban waste, 26 had handled pathogenic waste (including blood-stained clothes, bandages, and old dressings) without protection, and 27 had handled munitions (ordnance) while collecting waste.

The Benadir Regional Administration aims to learn from the pilots in the four districts and then – based on the experiences under SECIL – expand the services to the whole of Mogadishu.

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