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News — 22 April, 2021

Mapping Solid Waste Zones in Lusaka

OSM Zambia has completed their Facebook Community Impact Microgrant in which they mapped waste collection zones in the rapidly growing city of Lusaka to support the waste collection and disposal.

Lusaka, the capital and largest city of Zambia, is one of the fastest developing cities in Southern Africa. As of 2019, the city’s population was about 3.3 million, up from 2.5 million in 2018. Lusaka’s population growth has led to an increase in solid waste coming from the peri-urban areas.
Solid waste management has been a challenge for the Lusakan authorities due to the peri-urban areas’ over-population. According to the LCC, the peri-urban areas generate 70% of the city’s solid waste, and half of it remains uncollected. Most of these areas are too big for effective collection of solid waste, and there is a lack of GIS data of these areas that would facilitate developing solutions.

At OSM Zambia, we aimed to address this by generating data zones that will help in planning and inspection of waste collection in six of the city’s peri-urban areas. The wards of Lusaka are very large and need to be divided into solid waste collection zones to be managed. This will help the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to efficiently plan solid waste interventions and systems in the city.

The LCC did not have an existing GIS database for solid waste management. The lack of maps in the wards and narrative data for the solid waste collection zones contributes to indiscriminate disposal of solid waste in the community because there was little to no knowledge of the authorized solid waste collection companies working in the areas.

Dividing these wards into zones for the council will ease planning for solid waste management, and this data will serve as a baseline data for the council to further find ways in which the solid waste challenges can be solved.

During the data collection exercise by students from the YouthMappers UNZA chapter, we were able to map boundaries for the solid waste zones in six of the peri-urban areas. We also identified the major road networks in these peri-urban areas where there are dumpsites in order to know what modes of transport can be used and route the vehicles that collect solid waste. It is important to mention that most of these areas are unplanned developments where roads are not standardized, which makes it difficult for the Council and other companies to reach most of the households.

We would like to thank the officers from the LCC, the YouthMapper UNZA Chapter, and HOT and Facebook for the Microgrant. We believe that data that has been generated will serve a good purpose in these pre-urban areas of Lusaka.