Mali’s Approach to Animal Waste Management: A Model for Africa

The Sahel region of Mali is faced with one of the most challenging environments in the world for waste management. With its vast desert landscapes and sparse population centers, traditional waste management practices are inadequate to address the growing problem of animal waste. In response to this challenge, Mali has embarked on a pioneering approach to animal waste management that holds potential for the continent as a whole.

The Bamako Integrated Waste Management Project (BIWMP)

The Bamako Integrated Waste Management Project, implemented in 2010, aimed to address the environmental and health hazards posed by improper waste disposal in Mali’s capital, Bamako. The project adopted a comprehensive approach, including:

  • Composting: The project established communal composting sites and provided training to communities on composting techniques. This organic fertilizer is used to improve soil fertility and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.
  • Sanitation: Improved sanitation facilities and practices reduced the spread of waste-related diseases.
  • Waste Collection: Enhanced waste collection systems, including donkey carts and tractors, improved waste collection coverage.
  • Landfills: Two new landfills were constructed with methane capture systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Benefits of Mali’s Approach

  • Environmental Benefits: The project has led to a reduction in waste-related pollution and improved soil health.
  • Health Benefits: Improved sanitation and waste management have reduced the incidence of waste-related diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever.
  • Economic Benefits: Composting has increased agricultural productivity and created new income opportunities.
  • Social Benefits: The project has improved community engagement and participation in waste management.

Replicability for Africa

Mali’s approach to animal waste management is replicable across Africa, with some adjustments to suit local contexts. The key lessons learned from Mali include:

  • Community Involvement: Successful waste management requires strong community involvement from the planning stage.
  • Appropriate Technology: Selecting technologies that are suitable for the local environment and resources is crucial.
  • Training and Capacity Building: Communities need to be trained on proper waste management practices and technologies.
  • Financial Sustainability: Sustainable waste management requires a long-term financial commitment.


Q: What is the Bamako Integrated Waste Management Project (BIWMP)?

A: The BIWMP is a project implemented in Mali to address the environmental and health hazards posed by improper waste disposal.

Q: What are some of the benefits of Mali’s approach to animal waste management?

A: The approach has led to environmental, health, economic, and social benefits.

Q: How is Mali’s approach replicable for Africa?

A: With adjustments, Mali’s approach can be replicated across Africa.

Q: What are the key lessons learned from Mali’s approach?

A: Community involvement, appropriate technology, training, and financial sustainability are key lessons learned.


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