Urban waste management : the potential of household refuse for use in food and fuel production in Nairobi
Urban waste management poses problems in all cities of the world, but it also provides opportunities for innovative resource use. The Thesis begins by defining the waste management problem of Nairobi in context and then analytically reviews the international status of waste management, contrasting the circumstances in developed economies with those in Tropical Africa. An investigation of household refuse in Nairobi, exploring its embodied energy and its value for composting follows as the focus of the Thesis. Typical households were surveyed in relation to their waste management behaviour and agricultural activities. An attempt was made to analyse the physical and chemical composition of household refuse as well as its energy value. In addition to household surveys, a senior local government official and waste disposal crews were interviewed in order to ascertain current policies and management practices in the handling of waste. Particular attention was paid to the Eastlands area of the City. Ways in which refuse is incorporated into the food and energy cycles were identified. Among the important factors discerned are the role of family structure and the economic position of households. The validity of the research is discussed and recommendations are made for the future of waste management in relation to energy and food production in Nairobi. The findings of the research should have wide application in other African countries.