Opportunities and challenges associated with municipal solid waste disposal: A case study of Malawian cities


  • Joel Njewa University of Malawi, School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Department of Chemistry, P.O.Box 280, Zomba
  • James Majamanda University of Malawi, School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 280, Zomba
  • Timothy Tiwonge Biswick University of Malawi, School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Department of Chemistry, P.O.Box 280, Zomba
  • Placid Mike Gabriel Mpeketula University of Malawi, School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 280, Zomba




Municipal Solid Waste, Malawian cities, recycling, waste conversion to energy


Malawi, as a developing country, faces serious environmental and health challenges associated with waste generation, transportation and disposal. Currently, available waste services rendered to the public are not sufficient to accommodate all residents in all cities due to rapid urban population growth. This paper highlights challenges that hinder effective municipal solid waste handling in Malawi. The literature survey has shown that existing dumping sites are in a bad state and do not meet the required standards, thereby posing danger to the diversity, ecological systems, environment and public health. Waste reduction through recycling of organic wastes into farmyard manure, plastic and metals exist on a small scale among some households and they are getting income. The challenges associated with municipal waste management are inadequate funding, lack of disposal infrastructure, weak enforcement of rules and regulations and the use of inappropriate vehicles for waste transportation. The activities such as the conversion of waste to energy, civic educating of residents, promoting recycling activities, expanding waste collection services to all residents and opening new engineered landfills and sufficient funding of municipalities would upscale waste management process.


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How to Cite

Njewa, J., Majamanda, J., Biswick, T. T., & Mpeketula, P. M. G. (2022). Opportunities and challenges associated with municipal solid waste disposal: A case study of Malawian cities. EQA - International Journal of Environmental Quality, 51(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2281-4485/15566