Cleaner Air & Healthier Communities: New Incinerator Reduces Medical Waste Impact in Eritrea


Medical waste management poses significant environmental and public health challenges in Eritrea. Improper disposal of healthcare waste can contaminate the air, water, and soil, leading to severe health risks for nearby communities and the environment. Recognizing the urgency of this issue, the Eritrean government implemented a project to install a state-of-the-art medical waste incinerator in Asmara, the capital city.

Project Implementation:

The project was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with the Eritrean Ministry of Health. The incinerator was procured, installed, and commissioned in 2018.


The new incinerator has significantly improved medical waste management in Eritrea. The facility:

  • Reduced air pollution: The advanced technology minimizes air pollution by controlling emissions through advanced air pollution control equipment.
  • Increased safety: The secure and controlled incineration process eliminates the risk of infectious waste contamination.
  • Improved waste management: The incineration plant can process approximately 40kg of medical waste per hour, significantly reducing the volume of medical waste that needs to be disposed of through other methods.

Community Benefits:

The reduction in air pollution and improved waste management has had a positive impact on the health of communities living near the medical facility. With less air pollution, residents experience:

  • Reduced respiratory problems
  • Improved visibility
  • Reduced risk of diseases caused by contaminated air


The incinerator is designed to be environmentally sustainable. It operates on renewable energy sources and has an efficient waste-to-ash system, reducing the amount of ash produced. The ash is solidified and reused as fertilizer in agriculture.


The new medical waste incinerator in Eritrea is a testament to the country’s commitment to environmental sustainability and public health. The project has significantly reduced air pollution, improved waste management, and contributed to healthier communities. This initiative serves as a model for other countries facing similar challenges.


1. What types of medical waste can be incinerated?

  • Sharps
  • Infectious waste
  • Anatomical waste
  • Pharmaceutical waste

2. What are the environmental benefits of the incinerator?

  • Reduction in air pollution
  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Elimination of infectious waste

3. How does the incinerator improve public health?

  • Reduced risk of disease transmission
  • Improved air quality
  • Increased safety and security

4. What is the capacity of the incinerator?

5. What are the sustainability features of the incinerator?

  • Operation on renewable energy sources
  • Efficient waste-to-ash system


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