The neglected governance challenges of solid waste management in Uganda: Insights from a newly created City of Mbarara


  • Mesharch Katusiimeh Department of Governance, Kabale University, Uganda
  • Boaz Nabimanya Department of Economics, Kabale University, Uganda
  • Derick Komwangi Department of Social Sciences, Ankole Western University, Uganda


Refuse and refuse disposal, Municipal solid waste, Solid waste management


The challenges of rapid urbanization threaten governance of many urban centers especially in developing countries. However, to achieve these challenges, the gaps in governance of waste management need to be addressed. There is no comprehensive analysis examining the governance related challenges in solid waste management (SWM) even when a large body of research indicates that governance issues are highly significant in the effective delivery services. This paper addresses this question: What solid waste management governance challenges must be addressed to avoid the problems of the past? This study was carried out in the City of Mbarara. A semi-structured in-depth interview was chosen as the method for qualitative data collection. In-depth interviews were administered to city solid waste managers, managers of private sector companies in SWM, political leaders especially local councilors and opinion leaders. These respondents were purposely sampled. Findings reveal that the organization of solid waste management is poor exemplified by weak capacity, poor implementation of laws and regulations, poor record management, misappropriation of funds among others. There is therefore need to strengthen capacity (financial, institutional, technological and infrastructural) to drive environmentally solid waste management practices for sustainable solid waste management.