Be Part of the Solution: South-South and Triangular Cooperation Towards Sustainable Waste Management in Koidu, Sierra Leone

April 14, 2022

In August 2021, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) partnered and launched a pilot project in Koidu, Sierra Leone, to improve local capacities in the municipal solid waste management sector and move towards a circular economy.

The “South-South Cooperation in Sustainable Waste Management – Waste Wise Koidu” pilot initiative is sponsored by UNOSSC under the framework of South-South and Triangular Cooperation among Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities for Sustainable Development Project (Cities Project) and implemented by the Solid Waste Management Team of UN-Habitat, in partnerships with Koidu New Sembehun City Council (KNSCC) and other local stakeholders. The  pilot was launched based on the field assessment and areas of cooperation identified by UNOSSC and UN-Habitat in 2019.

A South-South Cities Cluster on waste management was initiated by the Cities Project in 2021, offering a space for knowledge sharing and partnership enhancement among city partners of the global South. The city of Kushtia, Bangladesh, was selected to team up with Koidu and share waste management experiences and knowledge. Kushtia was selected for its successful experience in setting up an effective and financially sustainable solid and liquid waste management system. The Pilot Kick-off Workshop was held on 3 December 2021 to set the stage for accountability and help stakeholders understand the project’s deliverables. Seventeen KNSCC staff attended the training on landfill operation, management, and accounting between 8 and 10 December 2021.

Project Kick-off Workshop

From 16 to 19 December 2021, ten representatives from Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) focused on recycling in Koidu attended knowledge exchange trip with their counterparts in Kenema, Bo, and Makeni, Sierra Leone. The exchange learning visit was completed with great commitment by SMEs across the cities to support each other and establish a stronger network. SME participants from Koidu thanked UN-Habitat and UNOSSC for organizing the event, which allowed them to focus on learning, sharing ideas, and assessing the relevance of new approaches in the waste recycling sector. What they saw in Kenema, Bo and Makeni motivated them to communicate regularly with their peers and engage with other SMEs to expand their market possibilities and network, as well as to find solutions to common challenges.

Plastic Paving blocks production process, Koidu, Sierra Leone

Advocacy and educational materials, including jingles and songs in four local languages (Krio, Mende, Kono, and Temne) and posters were developed to encourage residents to Radio programmes were also broadcasted to raise awareness on sustainable consumption and contribute to a social and behavioural change in households and residents towards a positive mindset to waste management.

Waste collection and household waste separation posters

Throughout the year 2022, the “Waste Wise Koidu” pilot project team will continue building on the joint efforts and solid foundation to strengthen the capacities of local landfill staff and youth groups carrying out waste collection activities on financial system and landfill management. The project will also continue to facilitate South-South cities exchanges and mutual learning through the South-South Galaxy Cities Cluster and local cooperation platforms towards a sustainable and green future.

For more information, please contact

UN-Habitat Nairobi | Francesca Calisesi

UNOSSC Beijing | Xiaodan Zhang