Working conditions of informal solid waste collectors in Dar es salaam-Ilala District

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University of Dar es Salaam
The global reliance on market economy tends to confine the choice of the urban poor into informal activities. Most unemployed and low skilled youths in urban centers now involve themselves informally in collection of domestic solid waste which is a serious problem in unplanned settlements. This study explored the working condition of the informal collectors of domestic solid waste in Ilala District. Within this context, the main method of data collection was qualitative approach complimented by quantitative approach. Main data collection techniques used were in-depth interviews and focus group discussion. These were complemented by questionnaire and field observation to elicit data from the sampled population. The findings revealed that informal collectors of domestic solid waste work under very precarious conditions with poor or crude tools that expose them to health threats. In addition domestic waste collectors face various problems such as low income, low education, and long working hours, public scorn and ruined dignity. Despite the fact that informal solid waste collection activities render a living to informal collectors, they are negatively perceived by the local leaders. The study concluded that the working condition of informal collectors is unfavorable. The informal waste collection is an important way through which less advantaged individuals can earn their living, considering among other factors, the current economic hardships both globally and locally. Recognition of informal collectors’ efforts on domestic solid waste collection by the municipal authorities and the need for enabling mechanisms for informal solid waste collection are among the recommendations put forward to enhance the situation.
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Working contitions, Waste collectors, Ilala, Dar es Salaam
Shabani, Z (2010) Working conditions of informal solid waste collectors in Dar es salaam-Ilala District. Master dissertation, Univeristy of Dar es Salaam. Available at