Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
This thesis is about environmental systems analysis in municipal waste management. It findsits point of departure in material flow analysis and substance flow analysis, both instrumentsfor analysing regional metabolisms.
Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya forms the case study. An examination of the wastemanagement in Nairobi reveals that there is lack of systems analysis as a concept andmethodology in waste management issues in the city. There is also lack of policies andlegislation on waste management in the city. Two indicators of systems analysis are materialfluxes accounting in the waste management system and communication amongst thestakeholders within that system A systems analysis approach can assist in informed policymaking on waste management. Specifically, it provides for a comprehensive yet simplifiedpicture of activities within the system including the information on materials and substancesand their potential environmental impacts. Such an approach can also serve as a basis for anearly warning system, examination of trends, and follow-ups to environmental standards andpolicies.
To illustrate the concept and methodology of a systems analysis, a conceptual model of themass flows within Nairobi is established and is utilised in the waste management modelORWARE (developed in Sweden) to simulate substance flows for the elements carbon,nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorous within the study area. Taking the form of a municipalmaterials accounting process, the illustration serves as an example of how systems thinkingcan be established in Nairobi’s waste management and attendant benefits of such a system. Itis argued that the use of the traditional and centrally formulated waste management masterplans in Nairobi have been excluding other stakeholders from taking part in decision makingin waste management.
The assessment of ORWARE as an environmental accounting tool in waste managementshows that the model can be utilised in this fashion. However, further research is needed tovalidate this. Nevertheless, there is no conclusive evidence to assess the applicability ofORWARE in a developing country’s waste system.
The adoption of systems analysis approach in Nairobi’s waste management sector isrecommended. Such an approach could be implemented using rudimentary bookkeeping ofphysical flows within the city’s waste stream.
2000. , 92 p.