One of the primary components of the European Union-funded project Sustainable Employment Creation and Improved Livelihoods for Vulnerable Communities in Mogadishu (SECIL) is solid waste management – which to date has been informal and ad hoc in Mogadishu, without a systematic or managed approach.
SECIL partners have facilitated the beginnings of a new era of solid waste management through the signing of a formal public–private partnership between the Benadir Regional Administration and two private waste collection companies – Mogadishu Cleaning Company and WasteSom. The signing of this agreement is a milestone for solid waste management in the city and ensures the responsible and sustainable collection and disposal of solid waste in four inner city pilot districts: Hamarweyne, Hamarjajab, Shingani, and Waberi.
The new, innovative solid waste management partnership document is about creating an enabling environment for the safe delivery of solid waste collection services, using an economically viable system that creates local jobs while providing the private partners with opportunities to invest in future services. The signed agreement clearly lists the responsibilities of the Benadir Regional Administration and each of the respective private partners and was formed after a rigorous negotiation process to ensure that it is specific to the local context and benefits not only partners to the agreement, but also the residents of the four pilot districts. The negotiation process was useful for identifying and mitigating potential service delivery constraints and was found to be particularly well suited to the entrepreneurial spirit that is clearly evident in the Somali private sector. The private partners started delivering their services in the final days of March.
Although the private–public partnership is currently only applicable to the four pilot districts, it is designed to be versatile to encourage the development of future partnership agreements in solid waste management throughout Mogadishu. Ongoing training and capacity building of the local government and private companies enables them to take up the baton and scale up waste collection services to incorporate larger areas – perhaps, one day, all of Mogadishu.