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Municipal Waste Management in Kumasi


Eliminating growing mountains of waste is posing problems to local authorities in Ghana. There are no strategies for effective waste management or for preventing and recycling waste, and this is compounded by a lack of funding, specialist personnel, infrastructure and collection and storage capacity. According to studies by the Ghanaian Ministry of Environment, only 40 per cent of people in towns and cities have signed up to a waste collection service. Fly-tipping is common, with people failing to fully appreciate that this causes major problems for the environment and their own health. The situation is no different in Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city. Unlike many other local authorities, Kumasi has a landfill site for disposing of waste. As this waste is not triaged, however, the site is used for all kinds of mixed refuse rather than just residual waste. The landfill’s capacity is thus being used up much too soon.


The project is geared towards developing practical strategies and plans for effective waste management by Ghanaian local government entities, using the city of Kumasi as an example.


Preparatory mission
GIZ undertook a week-long preparatory mission to Kumasi to make contact with the relevant offices at Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and selected waste management companies. In the process, potential participants in a multi-stakeholder workshop in Kumasi were identified and the content and logistics for the workshop were planned.

Multi-stakeholder workshop and follow-up meetings
A multi-stakeholder workshop was held in Kumasi over several days in January 2013 to devise an underlying plan and analyse the problems facing local waste management in the city. Besides Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, the workshop was also attended by representatives of the regional government, key ministries, the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency, the Asante royal house, waste management companies, the local private sector and KNUST, as well as civil society organisations and schools, in order to obtain as comprehensive a picture of the situation as possible.

At the event, 40 stakeholders discussed which measures were particularly urgent and how the improvements to Kumasi’s waste management sector were to be tackled. Representatives of the Megacities project, which was being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), were also able to contribute lessons learned and viewpoints from their project.

The most important results of the multi-stakeholder dialogue were fleshed out in working groups in Kumasi in February 2013 and grouped into five potential strategies at follow-up meetings with the Metropolitan Assembly. The findings were also considered together with relevant partners from North Rhine-Westphalia and their potential involvement in the next stages of cooperation was discussed.

The project results laid an important foundation for the follow-on project, Climate and Resource Protection for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana. In particular, raising awareness of the problems in local waste management, pooling local expertise and developing the various strategic approaches prepared the ground for the climate and resource protection project that would build on the work done up to this point.

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Brief project description

Title: Municipal Waste Management in Kumasi
Term: December 2012 – February 2013
Sector: Environment

Supported by:
State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia

Partners and actors

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