Solid waste management in low and high income residential areas of Maseru : a comparative study of Maseru West and Seapoint.
Waste management has received very little attention in Lesotho' s Development Planning. Lack of environmental policy and environmental framework law has resulted in waste being illegally dumped. Inadequate services in the country, coupled with increasing population in the urban areas due to rural-urban migration, has led to litter being a serious environmental problem in the whole country, especially in the urban areas. This study aims to analyse the defects of the waste management strategies in Maseru by investigating the waste management systems employed in two residential areas of different income levels. In addition, this thesis attempts to evaluate the impact of socioeconomic and educational factors on solid waste management practices in Maseru. An investigation into trends or similarities in the services rendered by the Maseru City Council was carried out and compared with the literature reviewed. A survey was conducted as two case studies, mainly to assess the present coverage and the standard of refuse generation, collection and disposal service. Waste was collected from the two study areas and compared in terms of the type and amount of waste. generated. The major factors influencing waste generation were found to be the gender and educational level of the household head, income level of the household and the household size. These were found to be proportional to waste generation and inter-related. In this regard, that families headed by men were found to have higher incomes than those headed by women and were found to produce more waste. Furthermore, in households where the household head had attained a higher level of education, income levels increased, there was a concomitant increase in waste generation. In general, high income residential areas generated more waste than low income residential areas. Large families use more money and consume more food than small families, thus generate more waste. The major component of waste was largely paper and plastic, but glass, cans and organic materials were also recorded. In general, waste management in Maseru (Lesotho) was found to be very poor because of lack of policy and contradicting and scattered sectoral laws dealing with waste management, lack of urban planning and infrastructure. More importantly, waive of laws relating to waste has resulted in land degradation due to illegal dumping and littering.