Since local authorities are incapable of handling most solid waste material, this opens up opportunities for the private sector. The East African solid waste management market is undergoing a dynamic phase of change with the local authorities enforcing new legislation that also involves private investors.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (environmental.frost.com), East African Solid Waste Management Market, finds that the market earned $32.9 million in 2008. Despite the current economic hardships faced by most African countries, the market is expected to continue growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 7.0 per cent from 2008 to 2015.
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"Rapid urbanisation and higher standards of living have been the major drivers of growth in this market," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Derrick Chikanga. "More solid waste is generated by high income households in their daily activities."
The East African region is currently experiencing a growth rate of approximately 7.1 per cent per annum and about 34.5 per cent of the region's population resides in urban areas. The urban population generates the bulk of the solid waste material in this region.
However, the inability to collect refuse collection charges from households is a major obstacle to the development of this market. While the high-income areas are willing to pay for improved services, the low-income areas receive the least attention, as most households do not have the financial means to meet even the minimum tariffs charged by local authorities. There is also a lack of understanding and prioritisation amongst people towards refuse collection.
"The level of awareness on the need to pay refuse collection charges is low," explains Chikanga. "Residents prioritise other services such as water, energy, transport and healthcare."
Despite the challenges due to non-compliance by households, the market continues to be promising. Some companies have implemented a competitive pricing structure by charging a range of tariffs to different end-user groups of waste collection services. Lower tariffs encourage low-income households to use waste management services, enabling these companies to capture the non-paying low-income areas and generate more revenues.
"Strategic partnerships between private companies and local authorities are gradually starting to emerge," concludes Chikanga. "Such partnerships facilitate the sharing of solid waste management and financial responsibilities between the local authorities and private participants."
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East African Solid Waste Management Market / M495