Debris Management and Municipal Solid Wast Management
Clearing away crisis-generated debris and solid waste is a critical part of relief and recovery efforts, including also to allow humanitarian partners access to communities to deliver lifesaving support.
Support to debris management is important in particular to contribute to:
i) Access to critical (sometimes lifesaving) basic services and access to communities for (lifesaving) humanitarian aid;
ii) Prevention of vector borne diseases by removal of municipal solid waste;
iii) Contribute to livelihoods stabilization through emergency employment and enterprise recovery;
iv) Recovery or establishment of green enterprises and environmentally sustainable (self-) employment through re-use and recycling of debris/ solid waste, including debris derived products;
v) Support restoration of local state authority through improved basic service delivery; Strengthen government capacities to carry out debris waste management assessments.
These areas are essential in order to lay the foundation for a transition towards sustainable development pathways and resilience. Activities are aimed to kick start livelihoods and economic recovery (including solid waste related value chain development) and might be lifesaving during initial phases.
Debris management projects includes:
i) Effective assessment management- including assessments, consultations with communities, partnership with private sector etc;
ii) Safe removal and re-use of debris i.e. debris removal, re-use/recycling of debris for the rehabilitation of community infrastructure;
iii) Emergency jobs (i.e. debris removal), training in recycling and enterprise management, establishment of MSMEs and public-private partnerships;
iv) Institutional strengthening- coordination, support to development of policy frameworks, and information management. Debris management may be life-saving by reopening access of aid delivery to crisis affected communities. It is also a medium to long-term activity focused on development (skills building, planning, legal aspects, capacity building, etc.).
Community Infrastructure Rehabilitation
Human development is inextricably linked with the stability and performance of community infrastructure and community-based assets, both physical and institutional. In an immediate post-crisis scenario the devastation of physical infrastructure can quickly trigger severe economic and social consequences. For example, when the only access road or bridge to a community is swept away by flooding or destroyed by earthquake, the population may become isolated from essential services or supplies, including adequate food, water and sanitation, medical care, education, social and cultural support, and employment, threatening their very livelihoods. Without rapid support to restore such assets, in just a few weeks, the level of need can escalate. Evidence also shows that the worst-affected communities and households tend to be the ones that are already the most vulnerable and impoverished, as they have fewer means to cope with the impact of disasters. The repair of community infrastructure in post-disaster settings is thereby critical for the restoration of social and economic networks. Apart to that, the restoration of equal access to key community infrastructure by various community groups can play a critical role in preventing further conflict situations, delivering peace dividends and promoting social cohesion.
Support to the rehabilitation of community infrastructure is important in particular to:
- Re-establish access to critical (sometimes lifesaving) basic services and access to communities for (lifesaving) humanitarian aid;
- Provide rapid source of income in the direct aftermath of a crisis for affected communities;
- Provide the bases for the economic revitalization of a community/region affected by a crisis;
- Strengthen the social fabric and social cohesion between community members and groups
- Improve resilience by “building back better” through the promotion of building techniques that are more resistant to natural disasters and hazards
- Build the capacity of communities in management and engineering techniques, and contribute to the restoration of state authorities through improved delivery of basic social services.
Community infrastructure rehabilitation projects, if approached comprehensively, can support affected citizens to come together to rebuild their communities, strengthen partnerships with local authorities, reflect their own priorities in broader recovery and development planning and acquire new knowledge and skills that empowers them to expand their opportunities and choices
Example of Waste Management and rehabilitation and governance
In the Philippines, cluster partners worked in a coordinated manner to assist the government to reach out and support the participation of local communities in the clearance and management of rubble and debris following the storm. Debris clearing and recycling of debris activities resulted in renewed access and the restoration of schools, hospitals, health care units, municipal halls, day-care centres, roads, drainage canals, dump sites and other public places including churches and public markets. Whilst not a focus country, the example of the Occupied Palestinian Territories also warrants a mention, where cluster partners have been working on rubble removal and the explosive remnants of war to enable further response and recovery following the latest conflict in Gaza.
Visite Nigeria country page to find communication product on how the cluster on Early Recovery and Livelihood integrates Debris Management and Solid Waste Management in their programmes