Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association
Our plastic challenge
The average plastic waste generation in Tanzania in 2010 was estimated at 0.02kg per person per day (Jambeck et al., 2015). This accounts for the per capita production prior to waste management and recycling interventions. In the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam, the amount of plastic in the total municipal waste composition increased from 16% in 2012 to 22% in 2014. This was primarily from the increase in PET beverage bottles, packaging of food stuffs and plastic bags used by small- and large-scale commercial vendors.
Considering an average waste collection of 58% in major urban centres across the country (Yhdego and Amir,2016), it is extrapolated that an estimate of 0.015kg of plastic per person per day ends up in the environment in 2019. That is equivalent to about one 500ml PET empty water bottle or 5 plastic shopping bags (HDPE).
The ability of the municipal waste management system to collect, treat and dispose waste in Dar es Salaam is hindered by inadequate human and financial resources, poor and insufficient quantity of equipment, restricted accessibility in terms of infrastructure as well as restructuring of governance structures.
This has resulted in land and marine pollution in the form of soil infertility, blocked drains that exasperate flooding during heavy rains, increased risk of water borne and non-communicable diseases, foul smells and deterioration of recreational beaches.
In 2018, 26 clean-ups organised by Nipe Fagio in Dar es Salaam collected 16,500kgs of waste; of which an average of 50% of sampled waste was plastic from domestic beverage and food industry brands and plastic bags. Apart from the visible effects of plastic pollution, a research paper in 2016 found microplastics in Tilapia and Nile Perch fish species sampled from Lake Victoria (Biginagwa et. Al., 2016). An on-going research conducted at the University of Dodoma (with support from WIOMSA) indicates preliminary findings of an accumulation of microplastics in the sediments and in cockle tissues sampled along the coastal shores of Dar es Salaam, Mafia and Pemba (Mayoma et al., 2019).
- Biginagwa, F. J.,Mayoma, B. S., Shashoua, Y., Syberg, K., Khan,a F. R. (2016).
- First evidence of microplastics in the African Great Lakes: Recovery from Lake Victoria Nile perch and Nile tilapia. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 42 (1) , 146-149.
- Jambeck, J. R., Geyer, R., Wilcox, C., Siegler, T. R., Perryman, M., Andrady, A., … & Law, K. L. (2015).
- Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science, 347(6223), 768-771.
- Mayoma, B.S., Khan, F.R., Hemed, S., Shimba, M.J. (2019).
- Threats of microplastics pollution to the marine ecosystem of Tanzanian coastal waters. https://blog.wiomsa.net/2019.
- Yhdego, M. and Kingu, A. 2016. Solid waste management in urban centers of Tanzania leapfrogging towards a circular economy, Research Paper
Nipe Fagio (NF), “give me the broom” in Swahili, is a civil society organisation founded in 2013. Nipe Fagio is based in Dar es Salaam with partners in Zanzibar, Arusha, Mwanza, Iringa and Dodoma regions. We aim to empower the civil society, the private sector and government to build lasting change towards turning Tanzania into a clean and sustainable country, conscious through education of its role on waste management and reduction of pollution.
Nipe Fagio advocates with the government:
- To increase government responsibility for reinforcing current laws and policies
- To push for new laws and policies to foster sustainable deve
Nipe Fagio works with the private sector:
- To identify and create business opportunities that promote a clean economy
- To educate about Best Waste Practices (BWP)
- To promote a safe circular economy
Nipe Fagio engages with the community:
- To raise awareness about the threats of pollution and environmental degradation
- To raise awareness about the threats brought by poor waste management for community and ecosystem health
The programme piloted in June 2019 at the beach sites where a site cleanup was conducted followed by a 10-day maro-litter accumulation survey. The accumulation surveys recorded 3,000kg of waste from both sites over the 10 days
The team is led by Ana Le Rocha, the Executive Director of Nipe Fagio. The core team is comprised of four community liaison officers and an Administration Officer.