Effectiveness of contracting out solid waste management: A case study of the City of Lusaka
Ntambo, Salimu Bwalya
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One of the sad features of urbanization is the failure of the Public Sector to provide effective urban services like solid waste management to citizens. According to literature, lack of capacity has been one of the major problems that had been sighted for failure of the Public Sector to perform effectively. In the search for an alternative, a tremendous call was made for the private sector to play a leading role as service providers whilst the public sector takes a regulatory role. In order to implement an effective solid waste collection service in conventional housing, the Lusaka City Council had contracted out solid waste management to private companies. The contracts provided that the private waste collectors with the responsibility to collect and transport solid waste from particular locations to the designated disposal sites and obtained fess from the users.Although it is widely viewed that increased effectiveness should follow from contracting out of such services, what needed to be clarified was, however, the impact of the programme in terms of expected social welfare gains, if any, to the targeted group. There were a number of pertinent questions that had to be addressed such as: Is the city of Lusaka cleaner with contracting out of solid waste collection than it was before? Is the targeted group benefiting from the programme.The study intends to address some of these questions by examining the effectiveness of contracting out of solid waste management to private companies in Lusaka city. To obtain insight, questionnaires were administered and interviews conducted with both the service providers and residents using purposive and systematic sampling. The study focused on issues such as service delivery, strengths and weakness of the service provided, maintenance and other problems related to solid waste management. The role of the various actors involved in the provision and production of services were also analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively by using summaries, diagrams, tabular illustrations.The researcher concluded that contracting out of Solid Waste Management had not improved in terms of service delivery. A lot of challenges have been faced by policy makers, service providers and end users. Some of the challenges faced by service providers were attributed to lack of monitoring by the council since service providers had to collect own fee, high staff turnover, frequent breaking down of machinery due to impassable areas and competition with both fellow and illegal service providers. For sustainable contracting out, certain enabling conditions must be met where both the private and public sector must play their role of service partner and regulator respectively. There should be effective tendering processes in the selection of the private contractors. Public awareness should also be conducted for companies and citizens at large to be aware of the benefits of clean solid waste productions and environments.
SubjectRefuse and refuse disposal-Lusaka, Zambia
Municipal services --Contracting out-Lusaka,Zambia