A study has been conducted by independent consulting firm which assessed the socio economic and environmental positive and negative impact of the project. Such impact can be intended or unintended as a result of project intervention in Integrated Solid Waste Management as well as Urban Green Infrastructure Development in the six cities. The following have been identified as positive Environmental and Socio-economic impacts in both major intervention areas.
The change seen in the six cities as a result if project intervention in waste segregation and proper disposal of waste has resulted in positive environmental impact through reducing illegal damping of waste by households and reducing the difficulty municipalities had to separately treat the waste according to its nature. Moreover, the introduction of both composting and recycling have improved waste collection rate in the cities which has positively impacted the environment. For example PET water bottles used to be the biggest problem of the cities by blocking drainage canals and rivers causing flooding in the cities. Water pond of Adama and Lake Hawassa were full of such kind of plastics prior to project intervention. Since the start of waste recycling business however, such type of wastes are no more a problem because the MSEs and scavengers collect and sale them to earn income.
Composting and urban/peri-urban greening is contributing to GHG emission reduction and by diverting the organic fraction of waste from land fill which otherwise would emit CH4 to pollute the air and sequestering CO2 respectively. It also protects environmental pollution by using compost as replacement to chemical fertilizers for urban greening. The project has achieved a total of 128,089 tones of CO2 emission reduction so far from both the greenery and composting activities.
The soil and water conservation structures built and the increase in vegetation cover as a result of area closure and tree plantation on cliffs surrounding the cities has retained the top soil from erosion that again is creating favorable condition for more vegetation to regenerate. The result is positive and considerable impact on the environment through carbon sequestration, protection of biodiversity, protecting land degradation and maintaining ecosystem services of the areas. Lake Hawassa of Hawassa city, Lake Tana of Bahir Dar, rivers such as Blue Nile and Awash to which streams from those cliffs surrounding the cities drain were being affected by siltation as a result of soil erosion and lad slides in these. The gullies and degraded areas are now rehabilitated that has reduced siltation on those water bodies caused by extreme flooding mainly during raining season. Trees planted by the community in their compounds, road sides, parks and areas surrounding the cities are contributing to prevention of extreme heat and hence enhancing urban resilience to climate change in the six cities.
The project is using different mechanisms such as creating different types of administration mechanisms like community, MSEs and organizations; securing title deed for the areas; making the local community beneficiary as well as mobilizing stakeholders to ensure the urban and peri-urban greenery areas are rehabilitated, well managed and sense of ownership is created. This has an impact on sustainable protection of the environment including the biodiversity in the six cities. Three new plant nursery sites have been established in three cities and seedling raising capacity of two nursery sites have significantly increased. Moreover, the cities have been providing seedlings to the community for free and to a recent government initiative of 10 Billion tree plantation program. It is concluded that this has increased forest coverage in the cities as well as surrounding areas that contributes to environmental protection.
Socio -economic Impact
Flooding caused by surface runoff is decreasing in the cities as a result of the water and soil conservation structures built on the cliffs surrounding the cities and the increase in vegetation resulting from areas closure and tree plantations. This is a quote from City Beautification and Greening Bureau Team Lead of Adama who said “we have nerve experienced heavy rain as was last summer. But there was no much flooding in the city. Prior to the start of project intervention, small rain was enough to create huge flood on roads and slum areas in our city”. This has reduced damages on city infrastructure such as roads, ditches and water lines as well as houses caused by flooding which ultimately has reduced maintenance costs of the government and negative consequences on community livelihood.
The cities are now experiencing low flooding and colder weather as compared to pre-project intervention as a result of the urban and peri-urban afforestation and trees planted on road sides, parks and individual compounds as discussed previously in this report. This is a good indicator that the project is contributing to resilience capacity of the urban community in the six cities to extreme weather condition such as flooding and high heat caused by climate change.
Following establishment of three new plant nursery sites and increase in seedling raising capacity of two nursery sites, the city administrations have been providing seedlings to the community for free. Moreover, selected model villages in the six cities have been supported to green their neighborhood and some urban greenery areas have been given to the community for administration and use. All these project efforts have contributed towards community attitudinal change and enhancing community understanding on benefits of greening the environment that has resulted in actual observable changes in these cities; green compound and surroundings.
Some of the rehabilitated areas and areas given to the MSEs for plant nursery were illegal waste damping sites and two of them were open landfills that people used avoid passing through and living closer to these places. After rehabilitation however, these places are no more health treats rather are used by the community to conduct special occasions such as wedding and graduation ceremony and value of land and rental price of houses close to these areas has increased.
The project has introduced compost production technology from municipal solid waste and scaled it up the past four years. Through there were few people engaged in collection and sales of recyclable waste in Adama and Bishoftu, the project has expanded the activity and replicate the practices to the other four cities. Six composting sheds have been established in the six cities and all the sheds are constructed within the landfills except for Adama which is constructed at the outskirt of the city. The lands on which the sheds are constructed were not neither settled nor used by anyone prior to construction. There was no any complain formally filled during construction and operation.
Permanent and temporary job is created to 22,500 people along the value chain of both Urban Green Infrastructure Development as well Integrated Solid Waste Management. The trainings, awareness raising programs and community engagement has resulted in attitudinal change towards urban greening and waste management. The cities are becoming cleaner and greener as a result.