Lebanon: a Master Plan for the management of solid waste
20-11-2018 | di COOPI

Lebanon: a Master Plan for the management of solid waste

The new COOPI solid waste management project, “SWaM Akkar”, has been recently launched in North Lebanon. The kick-off conference took place on September, 13 in Hrar (Akkar) and was attended by all the Mayors of the Jurd Al Kaytea Municipality.

The two-year, European Union-funded intervention aims at improving and supporting the introduction of an integrated, sustainable solid waste management with the active involvement of the Union of Municipalities of Jurd el-Kaytee (UoMJK) in Akkar district, one of the poorest areas of the country.

SWaM Akkar was designed with a bottom-up approach and is currently undergoing a participatory planning phase that involves local communities in the elaboration of a Master Plan for the targeted area, which will be set up and executed upon its approval.
The Master Plan is a multi-step process aimed at providing partners with a course of actions to be implemented during the second part of the project (from mid-2019 to June 2020).

Early actions include the evaluation of stakeholders’ engagement and the creation of waste-related baseline benchmarks through assessments about both land characteristics and the local recycling sector. The following steps will be centered around the processing of the data collected, to be then integrated in the design of contingency planning. These will lead to the most important steps in the Master plan: the development of a strategy and, finally, the draft of a cohesive Action Plan alongside an environmental impact assessment.

Speaking of impacts, the UoMJK is expected to benefit from the project through additional qualitative results, including:

  • Economic Impact: public resources will be saved and new jobs will be created, therefore increasing the income of local families.
  • Social Impact: the population in Akkar will become more aware about the environmental issues. In particular, the involvement and enhanced awareness of young people will ensure the long-term sustainability of the action, with positive repercussions on the future of the target community.
  • Policy Impact: Akkar will be the first district in Lebanon to have a Master Plan established and functioning, therefore taking the lead to get the country out of the solid waste crisis.

Encouraged by the high degree of appreciation expressed by local authorities and population alike, the project team has already started the participatory planning, mobilizing volunteers from each and every municipality. Volunteers – grouped together in the aptly-named “The Working Group” - are operating with the help of external high-profile experts, collecting data for a baseline survey meant to establish a shared understanding of problems and improvement opportunities. This will allow to accurately portray the current situation as seen through the eyes of local community – a necessary starting point to carry out the next steps.