Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Challenges and opportunities in municipal solid waste management in Mozambique: a review in the light of nexus thinking

1 Technische Universitaet Dresden–Institute for Waste and Circular Economy, Dresden, Germany
2 United Nations University–Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES), Dresden, Germany

As one of the least developed countries in the world, Mozambique has many challenges to overcome during its attempts to arrange the country’s solid waste management system. Some of these challenges are unique to the country while many are common to other developing countries in the region as well as elsewhere. One unique challenge to overcome is the adverse impact made by the 16-year long civil war that ended in the 1990’s. Financial difficulties combined with lack of proper planning/coordination has not allowed some waste-related industries to come back to full swing yet. Lack of financial, technical, and trained human resources as well as the inefficiencies in the legal and intuitional arrangements are some of the issues common to many other developing countries. However, some of the challenges can be converted to opportunities relatively easily. Finding ways to capitalize on the high organic fraction of the country’s municipal solid waste (MSW) is one such example. Together with a comprehensive review of the current status of MSW management, this manuscript presents a study conducted on how integrated resources management concepts may help Mozambique to make its MSW management more sustainable. Building on the existing initiatives that support recycling and other resource recovery efforts, as well as capacity and institutional development, this investigation explores how nexus thinking can help to improve the status of solid waste management. It is also interesting to note that this process will in turn help the country to achieve some of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. While proper and sustainable MSW management addresses SDG 12 in a comprehensive way, it also helps with achieving other goals such as 3, 6, and 15 to a certain extent.
  Article Metrics


1. Tsiko RG, Togarepi S (2012) A situational analysis of waste management in Harare, Zimbabwe. J Am Sci 8: 692-706.

2. Kgosiesele E, Zhaohui L (2010) An evaluation of waste management in Botswana: Achievements and challenges. N Y Sci J 3: 37-42.

3. Karani P, Jewasikiewitz SM, Da Costa J (2008) A comparative analysis of waste management and sustainable development in South Africa and Mozambique: Implications for development financing and the role of knowledge management, In: Waste Management Research Trends New York: Nova Publishers, 321-337.

4. United Nations (2011) Waste Management. Available from: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=504&nr=590&menu=139

5. Ferrão DAG (2006) An Examination Of Solid Waste Collection And Disposal In Maputo City, Mozambique (Dissertation). University of Cape Town, Cape Town. Available from:

6. Moss B (2016) Climate change, profligacy, poverty and destruction: All things are connected. In: Hettiarachchi H and Ardakanian R author, Environmental Resource Management and the Nexus Approach: Managing Water, Soil, and Waste in the Context of Global Change, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 41-76.

7. Benson D, Gain AK, Rouillard JJ (2015) Water governance in a comparative perspective: From IWRM to a "Nexus" approach? Water Altern 8: 756-773.

8. Hoff H (2011) Understanding the NEXUS. Background Paper for the Bonn 2011 Conference: The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus. Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute. Available from: http://www.water-energy-food.org/en/whats_the_nexus/background.html

9. Hettiarachchi H, Ardakanian R (2016) Managing water, soil, and waste in the context of global change. In: Hettiarachchi H, Ardakanian R author, Environmental Resource Management and the Nexus Approach, Switzerland: Springer, 1-7.

10. UNDP (2016) Human Development Report 2016 Mozambique. Available from: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/MOZ.pdf.

11. Ferrari K, Gamberini R, Rimini B (2016) The waste hierarchy: a strategic, tactical and operational approach for developing countries: the case study of Mozambique. Int J Sustainable Dev Plan 11: 759-770.    

12. Carolini GY (2012) Framing water, sanitation, and hygiene needs among female-headed households in periurban Maputo, Mozambique. Am J Public Health 102: 256-261.    

13. Bouma J (2016) Implications of the Nexus approach when assessing water and soil quality as a gunction of solid and liquid waste management. In: Hettiarachchi H, Ardakanian R author, Environmental Resource Management and the Nexus Approach: Managing Water, Soil, and Waste in the Context of Global Change, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 179-209.

14. United Nations (2015) Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development. New York: UN. Available from: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/7891Transforming%20Our%20World.pdf.

15. GTZ (2005) Solid waste management at municipal level in Mozambique. Deutsche gesellschaft für technische zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH. Available from: http://star-www.giz.de/dokumente/bib/05-0756-15.pdf.

16. Stretz J (2012) Economic instruments in solid waste management. Eschborn, Germany: Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Available from: http://www.giz.de/de/downloads/giz2012-en-economic-instruments-mozambique.pdf.

17. dos Muchangos LS, Tokai A, Hanashima A (2017) Application of material flow analysis to municipal solid waste in Maputo city, Mozambique. Waste Manage Res 35: 253-266.    

18. Tas A, Belon A (2014) A comprehensive review of the municipal solid waste sector in Mozambique. Available from: http://www.associacao-mocambicana-reciclagem.org/sites/default/files/resources/A%20Comprehensive%20Review%20of%20the%20Waste%20Sector%20in%20Mozambique.pdf.

19. Dávila J, Kyrou E, Nuñez T, et al. (2008) Urbanisation and Municipal Development in Mozambique: Urban Poverty and Rural–urban Linkages. Development Planning Unit (DPU) University College London.

20. Dias S, Socre F (2014) Solid waste management in the centre and north of Mozambique. presented at the 2nd international AFRICA sustainable waste management conference, Luanda, Angola. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283317430_Solid_Waste_Management_in_the_Center_and_North_of_Mozambique.

21. Kruks-Wisner G (2006) After the flood: crisis, voice and innovation in Maputo's solid waste management sector (Thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Available from: http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/37672.

22. Correia MI (2010) Local report from Hulene, Mozambique. Available from: http://www.local-insight.org/local/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=62%3Alocal-report-from-maputo-mozambique&catid=35%3Alocal-reports&Itemid=74&lang=en.

23. Karani P, Da Costa J (2007) The role of knowledge in improving waste management for sustainable development: The case of Maputo Mozambique. Available from: http://www.environmental-expert.com/Files/0/articles/16550/MozambiqueWasteManagement--PatrickKarani--article2.doc.

24. Palczynski RJ (2002) Study on solid waste management options for Africa. Wolfville, Canada: African Development Bank. Available from: http://www.bscw.ihe.nl/pub/bscw.cgi/d1354356/SOLID%2520WASTE%2520MANAGEMENT%2520STUDY.pdf.

25. UNEP (n.d.) Newsletter and technical publications: Municipal solid waste management. Available from: http://www.unep.or.jp/Ietc/ESTdir/Pub/MSW/RO/contents_Africa.asp.

26. allAfrica.com (2015) Mozambique: Contract signed on Maputo and Matola waste disposal. Available from: http://allafrica.com/stories/201508140257.html.

27. Allen C, Jossias E (2011) Mapping of the policy context and catadores organizations in Maputo, Mozambique. Available from: http://wiego.org/sites/wiego.org/files/publications/files/Allen-Jossias_WIEGO_OB6.pdf.

28. Buque LIB, Ribeiro H (2015) Overview of the selective waste collection with pickers in Maputo municipality, Mozambique: challenges and perspectives. Saúde Soc 24: 298-307.

29. AMOR (2013) Project catalog. Available from: http://www.associacao-mocambicana-reciclagem.org.

30. Samson M (2010) Reclaiming reusable and recyclable materials in Africa (No. 16). WIEGO.

31. Environment and development of developing countries (n.d.) LVIA plastic recycling centres in Mozambique, Senegal, and Burkina Faso (No. 7). Available from: http://iwpar.org/pdf/best_practices/Best_practice_7-LVIA-plastic-mbs.pdf.

32. dos Muchangos LS, Tokai A, Hanashima A (2015) Analyzing the structure of barriers to municipal solid waste management policy planning in Maputo city, Mozambique. Environ Dev 16: 76-89.    

33. Cambule G, Pereira MG (2015) Mozambique: New regulations on waste management. Available from: http://www.vda.pt/xms/files/Newsletters/en/Flash_VdAtlas_Mozambique_-_Environment_-_New_Regulations_on_Waste_Management_-16.04.2015-.pdf

34. Oku E, Asubonteng K (2014) Urban solid waste management: Case of Ghana in west Africa. In: Hülsmann S, Ito M, Ardakanian R author, Proceedings of the International Kick-off Workshop: Advancing a Nexus Approach to the Sustainable Management of Water, Soil and Waste, Dresden: UNU-FLORES.

35. Oberlin AS, Szántó GL (2011) Community level composting in a developing country: case study of KIWODET, Tanzania. Waste Manage Res 29: 1071-1077.    

36. Cofie OO, Drechsel P, Agbottah S, et al. (2009) Resource recovery from urban waste: Options and challenges for community-based composting in sub-Saharan Africa. Desalination 248: 256-261.    

37. Matavel NI, Chaves GLD, Ribeiro GM (2017) Waste frying oil in the municipal district of Kampfumo, Maputo city: A reverse logistics network. Int J Environ Stud 74: 240-252.    

38. Batidzirai B, Faaij APC, Smeets E (2006) Biomass and bioenergy supply from Mozambique. Energy Sustain Dev 10: 54-81.

39. Garrido H, Vendeirinho V, Brito MC (2016). Feasibility of KUDURA hybrid generation system in Mozambique: Sensitivity study of the small-scale PV-biomass and PV-diesel power generation hybrid system. Renew Energ 92: 47-57.    

40. CTCN (2017) Feasibility study to use waste as fuel for cement factories. Available from: https://www.ctc-n.org/content/report-approach-mrv-system-production-and-use-rdf-msw-cement-factories-mozambique.

41. Vasco H, Costa M (2009) Quantification and use of forest biomass residues in Maputo province, Mozambique. Biomass Bioenerg 33: 1221-1228.    

42. Bernhofer C, Leidel M (2014) Capacity development for research and education-teaching and training programmes addressing the Nexus. In: White Book on Advancing a Nexus Approach to the Sustainable Management of Water, Soil and Waste, Dresden: UNU-FLORES, 41-56.

43. Wilson DC, Velis C, Cheeseman C (2006) Role of informal sector recycling in waste management in developing countries. Habitat Int 30: 797-808.    

Copyright Info: © 2017, Stephan Hülsmann, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Article outline

Show full outline
Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved