Institutional Dynamics of Municipal Solid Waste Management in the Bamenda Metropolis

Wanie, Clarkson Mvo and Akei, Mbanga Lawrence and Ntoban, Victor Konfor (2021) Institutional Dynamics of Municipal Solid Waste Management in the Bamenda Metropolis. Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International, 25 (2). pp. 63-78. ISSN 2454-7352

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Rapid and uncontrolled urbanization in several parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), has introduced a plethora of urban development challenges. This has left city governments ‘standing in their sleep’, as they strive to deal such issues. A classic example is solid waste management – with waste considered to be principally an urban problem. While the issue of waste has been belaboured in the literature, there is a dearth in geographical literature on the institutional dynamics of solid waste management. Viewed as structures and processes, institutions demonstrate potentials to determine the intentions and actions of urban waste managers and urban dwellers, within the waste management spectrum. Taking the case of Bamenda – a primate city par excellence – this paper explores the dynamics of institutions and their implications for solid waste management. Specifically, it explores the waste management institutional transition and its bearing on current and potentially, future waste management practices. Household surveys, complemented by expert interviews provided data for the study. Through narratives and descriptive statistics, we observed that despite the litany of institutions involved in solid waste management and their related institutional frameworks, their effectiveness remains questionable. This rests, in part, on the inadequacy in personnel, and the lack of law enforcement in the courts and city judiciary systems. The ineffectiveness of these instruments in the Bamenda Municipality is as a result of weak legal institutional setup, the absence of courts and a city judiciary system to handle environmental issues (solid waste), irregular or poorly enforced laws, inaccessible neighbourhood, and organizational lapses. Furthermore, the socio-political climate, characterised by insecurity, mars the effective implementation of waste management approaches. This paper argues that the institutional change process in waste management should strive towards the introduction of economic incentives that can motivate urban dwellers to fully engage in the process. Further empirical evidence on the right business-oriented waste management models are required to ground this claim.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Science Repository > Geological Science
Depositing User: Managing Editor
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2023 05:04
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2024 06:24

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