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Project information

Waste to Wealth

Waste to Wealth tackles the growing problem of solid waste management in urban areas by supporting micro and small level enterprises to sustainably derive an income whilst reducing waste. We support local entrepreneurs in Cameroon, Uganda, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone to achieve this.

This programme started in 2009

Charity information: Living Earth Foundation

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  • Need


    Rapid urbanisation has placed huge strains on the environment and local infrastructure. Existing waste management systems are unable to cope with the increased demands and rubbish is left to rot by the roadside, polluting water sources, contributing to flooding and posing serious health risks for local communities. The onus is often left to the communities themselves, who often face huge economic and employment barriers.


    Living Earth’s Waste to Wealth programme takes a tri-sector approach, encouraging all sectors of society to develop collaborative solutions to tackle the challenges of waste management. It seeks to capitalize on the potential of slum dwellers to drive changes in their cities through the establishment of micro level public-private partnerships and the promotion of income generating ‘waste to wealth’ activities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve the environmental sanitation of urban slums


    » Support environmental sanitation services through providing training, assistance, and grants to MSE's
    » Establish management committees to mentor and support organisations engaged in waste management

    What success will look like

    Sustained environmental sanitation improvement, with subsequent benefits in health and well-being for the inhabitants of urban slums, through improved service provision.

    Aim 2

    Foster the emergence of a skilled and effective business sector founded by the urban poor


    » Development and delivery of micro-enterprise training programmes
    » Provision of business advisory services for MSEs
    » Conduct functional sills training for individuals from MSE's working in urban environmental sanitation activities
    » Post-training support

    What success will look like

    Social enterprises, founded by and in poor urban communities, can derive wealth from the provision of recycling and re-use services

    Aim 3

    Improve awareness of the rights and entitlements of poor urban dwellers to a clean environment


    » Undertake awareness raising on rights to a clean environment
    » Conduct advocacy training and activities
    » Establish information hubs

    What success will look like

    Citizens will have access to the knowledge and skills to achieve a clean environment and of the potential to harness local cost-effective resources to deliver these rights.

    Aim 4

    Enhance capacity of local authorities to engage in public-private partnerships


    » Deliver training programmes for local government officers
    » On-going support and mentoring to local authorities and MSE's in PPPs

    What success will look like

    Strengthening managerial, technical and organisational abilities of municipalities and addressing statutory limitations will play a key part in achieving this result.

  • Impact


    The project is creating a virtuous circle wherein slum dwellers take responsibility for collecting and managing household solid waste. Instead of shipping this waste off to landfill, social ventures and micro-enterprises oversee a process of sorting of waste, recycling and re-use. The project is ensuring environmental sanitation improvements are being sustained, with subsequent benefits in the health and well being of slum inhabitants.





  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 On-going activities On-going activities
  • Background


    Kampala, Uganda
    Douala, Cameroon
    Port Harcourt, Nigeria
    Makeni, Sierra Leone
    Nairobi, Kenya


    Slum inhabitants, urban poor.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    In 2010, Living Earth Foundation launched a multi-country Waste to Wealth programme in Cameroon, Uganda and Nigeria. The project “Improved Living Conditions in Urban Slums: Public Private Partnerships in Cameroon, Uganda and Nigeria” is funded by the European Union, Comic Relief and the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID). It is a five-year programme, running from 2010 – 2015. In 2013, Living Earth started a pilot Waste to Wealth project in Sierra Leone.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.