Helping Cities to Turn Waste to Green Gold
Six cities piloting the NAMA Compost initiative in Ethiopia met in the northern town of Bahir Dar to review progress, share lessons and chart the way forward in implementing the Global Environment Facility (GEF) financed project.
The Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) Compost project (2017-2022) is implemented by the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MoUDH) and city municipalities in partnership with UNDP in Adama, Bahir Dar, Bishoftu, Dire Dawa, Hawassa and Mekele.
Co-chairing the national steering committee meeting with UNDP, State Minister Hirut Birassa of MoUDH stressed that it was important for cities not only to grow in the size of population but in the services they provide to their citizens.
Highlighting the importance of the initiative, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Ms. Louise Chamberlain underlined that, the NAMA Compost project in Ethiopia is a core part of a green economy because it helps create small enterprises in peri-urban areas engaged in waste management and address the multiple challenges of the urbanization. She noted that once monitored and accounted this intervention can eventually help Ethiopia to create a national carbon market that would offer sustainable financing allowing for the expansion of the project to the rest of the cities in the country.
Through this intervention, cities are supported to contribute to the reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emission and national targets in the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). This is being done by putting in place an integrated solid waste management complemented by a green urban infrastructure including greening cities and planting forests in peri urban areas. The project also helps address cities to address gaps in regulatory frameworks and institutional capacity needs.
In addition to improving the quality of life in cities, investments in greening and peri-urban forests can help address threats from flash floods such as the one witnessed in recent years by Dire Dawa.
Municipalities are partnering with micro and small enterprises are being engaged by the to get involved in the collection of waste and composting. This partnership is expected to lead to the creation of at least 700 new jobs, mostly for women and youth, in each city as the market linkage is strengthened during the project period.
Etihun Alemayehu is one of the women who is already benefiting this employment opportunity by joining a cooperative with 70 members engaged in collecting waste in Bahir Dar and composting. Etihun is a single mother of two who whose eldest daughter is in her first year of university studying engineering. Before joining the cooperative Etihun was trying to make ends meet by selling homemade foods and drinks but without a regular stall she found business unpredictable. Her new job brings her a reliable income and also a sense of pride in her hands-on contribution to keep her city clean and green.
By 2022, the GHG emission reduction from this initiative is expected to be over 400,000 tons of Carbon dioxide.