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

Jana Sallwey Hiroshan Hettiarachchi Stephan Hülsmann

*Corresponding author: Stephan Hülsmann huelsmann@unu.edu


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.

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