United Nations Waste Incinerator Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)


Liberia, wracked by civil wars for over a decade, faced immense post-conflict challenges, including widespread environmental damage and a burgeoning waste management crisis. Open burning of waste in urban areas generated severe air pollution, harming public health and the ecosystem. Recognizing the urgency, the United Nations established the Waste Incinerator Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in 2008 to address the critical need for waste management infrastructure and practices.

Mission Objectives:

  • To establish a sustainable and efficient waste management system
  • To reduce the environmental and health impacts of uncontrolled waste disposal
  • To contribute to sustainable development in Liberia by promoting environmental awareness and empowering local communities
  • To support the Government of Liberia in developing and implementing a national waste management strategy

Key Activities:

UNMIL implemented several key activities to achieve its objectives:

  • Procurement and installation of modern and efficient waste incinerators
  • Training of local personnel in waste management operations and maintenance
  • Development of a national waste management strategy and regulatory framework
  • Establishment of a network of waste collection and disposal sites
  • Public awareness campaigns to encourage waste segregation and reduction

Impact and Achievements:

UNMIL’s interventions significantly improved Liberia’s waste management landscape. Notable achievements include:

  • Reduction of open burning, leading to improved air quality
  • Increased public awareness and participation in waste management
  • Establishment of a functional and sustainable waste management system in Monrovia
  • Training of over 400 local personnel
  • Development of a national waste management strategy

Legacy and Sustainability:

Following the completion of UNMIL’s mandate in 2012, the Government of Liberia took ownership of the waste management system.

Current Status:

Liberia continues to grapple with waste management challenges, but has made significant strides in establishing a sustainable system. The country’s national waste management strategy remains under development and implementation, with support from international organizations and the private sector.


1. What was the duration of the UNMIL mission?

The UNMIL mission lasted from 2008 to 2012.

2. What were the main causes of Liberia’s waste management crisis?

The crisis was primarily due to the aftermath of civil war, leading to widespread environmental damage and a lack of infrastructure.

3. What were the key activities of UNMIL?

The mission focused on establishing a sustainable waste management system, reducing environmental impacts, and empowering local communities.

4. What was the impact of UNMIL’s work?

UNMIL significantly improved air quality, reduced open burning, and established a functional waste management system in Monrovia.

5. What happened after UNMIL’s departure?

The Government of Liberia took ownership of the waste management system and continues to implement improvements.


Comments are closed

Recent Posts