Chapter 5

Waste Management in Ethiopia

By Matthew Cheever

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Table of Contents:
Research Highlights

Executive Summary
Works Cited

Research Highlights

  • Waste management is a major problem in Ethiopia.
  • Case Studies of Addis Ababa (the national capital) and Bahir Dar (a major tourist destination) were used to study current waste management practices and to assess their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Unlined open dumps were shown to have a direct relationship with unprotected water sources in rural and urban settings.
  • Private sector involvement in waste management, like that of Dream Light Waste Management Company operating in Bahir Dar, has shown to decrease the amount of unlined waste disposal areas around the city.
  • NGOs can play a role in solving Ethiopia’s waste management issues by constructing lined, capped landfills in urban areas and building latrines in rural areas.

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Executive Summary

“Waste Management in Ethiopia” is the fifth chapter in Environmental Policy Review 2011, a report produced by the Environmental Policy Group in the Environmental Studies Program at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. 

Waste management in Ethiopia is problem that affects water quality and health. This chapter offers additional insights into how waste management affects heath in cities and rural communities using qualitative and quantitative data.  

A review of existing literature highlights toilet availability and use, drinking water sources, and disposal of garbage as three variables having strong relationships with sickness rates in Ethiopia. Case studies of two major Ethiopian cities – Addis Ababa (the capital city) and Bahir Dar (a major tourist destination) – further illustrate the current urban waste management landscape in Ethiopia. An analysis of 2009 Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS) data then explores rural waste management issues in greater detail.

Unlined open dumps were shown to have a direct relationship with unprotected water sources in rural and urban settings. Private sector involvement in waste management collection was also found to be effective in some urban areas.

NGOs can play a role in remedying Ethiopia’s waste-health crisis by building latrines in rural areas, building lined covered landfills in cities, and stimulating private sector involvement in urban areas.

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Collecting and managing solid and human waste is an important challenge for countries across the world. This problem is often magnified in cities where a dense concentration of people leads to a substantial amount of waste generation (Zerbock, 2003). In developing countries like Ethiopia, this problem is exacerbated by an influx of people moving to urban centers (Montgomery, 2008). Densely populated areas are more susceptible to health risks as the disease can be spread quickly (Harris & Kiel, 2006).

The implementation and running of effective waste management practices has been identified as essential for economic development in low-income countries in particular (Scheinberg, 2010). Urban centers are usually the hardest hit as efforts to develop and grow lead to influx of economic opportunities and people (Gilbert, 1998). In the Middle Ages the Bubonic Plague swept through cities as waste was improperly disposed of in the streets (Dobe et al., 2011). Given the tragic consequences of the past, it is vital that waste management practices in the growing cities of Ethiopia are a top priority in order to avoid repeating history.

With more and more people moving to urban centers in Ethiopia, cities like Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar are under increasing pressure to manage waste effectively in order to avoid outbreaks of disease. With the Akaki River running through Addis Ababa, and Bahir Dar located on Lake Tana, there is temptation to use these water bodies as a quick and easy waste removal solution. If waste is deposited in local water ways, the likelihood of water borne chemical diseases rises dramatically (Kuma, 2004). Therefore, it is essential to study how current waste management practices affect local water quality and disease rates.

Waste management in Ethiopia is important because only a small percentage of the country’s inhabitants have access to safe drinking water: 21% in rural areas, 84% in urban areas, and 30% country wide. Additionally, only 7% of populations in rural areas, 68% in urban areas, and 15% of people country wide have adequate access to latrines or other improved human waste disposal options (Kumie, 2005). Access to latrines is a critical aspect of waste management, especially since the practice of open defecation is prevalent in the country, which can contaminant groundwater and lead to disease (WHO, 2008; PLAN, 2007). 

This chapter seeks to contribute to the understanding of waste management processes and public health by investigating waste management in Ethiopia through a multi-step approach. First off, local and regional laws at the ground level were examined. After understanding policies in localized areas, national laws about waste management were investigated to see if there were any discrepancies between what the law and the reviewed literature said in terms of actual implementation. After a thorough examination of local and national laws, the relationship between NGOs and international institutions to these laws was explored. From the gathered research, this paper makes recommendations for Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, and other cities in Ethiopia for ways to improve waste management practices.

Table 5.1 Definitions of key terms in regards to waste management.
Table 5.1 Note: Solid Waste Management Proclamation No. 513/2007.

Table 5.2 Definitions of key terms in regards to access to clean water and latrines
Table 5.2 Note: Abera, Kumie and Ali, Ahmed. 2005.

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I used both qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate my research question. I began by conducting an extensive literature review of academic papers, formal reports, state issued pamphlets, local laws, regional laws, and national laws. This gave me a good background on existing laws and past research about solid waste management in Ethiopia in urban and rural areas. I retrieved data on water sources, sanitation, facilities, and health expenditures on urban areas from the World Development Indicators (WDI) of the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO). I investigated the effectiveness of laws and policies at the various political levels and highlighted the discrepancies between the mandates and what is happening in reality through looking at two important Ethiopian cities as case studies: Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar.

Background on Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia, located in its own region (of the same name) with a population of about three million people (Abiye et. al., 2009). Settled in the late 19th century, the town was not initially suitable for settling due to the lack of fuel wood nearby.

Addis Ababa is comprised of three government levels, which include the formal city government at the top, ten sub-city administrations in the middle, and 99 kebele – the Ethiopian equivalent to a neighborhood- at the bottom (UN report on Addis Ababa, 2010). In 2010, it was estimated that the city of Addis Ababa generated upwards of 0.4kg/capita of waste per day, with more than 200,000 metric tons collected each year (UN report on Addis Ababa, 2010). The city is divided into 549 zones serving 800 households; one municipality waste crew is designated for each zone. It is estimated that only 65% of the waste generated in the city is collected, with the rest being deposited in open sites, drainage channels, and rivers (UN report on Addis Ababa, 2010).

The city is home to a few major landfill sites; Repi Landfill and Korah Dump are the two most prominent. Both landfills are open, unlined dumps. The Korah dump is located adjacent to the community of Korah, home to some 80,000 of the city’s poorest people. The main source of food for people in this community is the Korah dump (Cox, 2010).

Background on Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar is the capital of the Amhara region in northern Ethiopia. It is located on Lake Tana, the headwaters of the Blue Nile, and is the main tourist destination in Ethiopia. The city has expanded rapidly throughout the 20th century and sewage discharge into Lake Tana has become a serious problem. The citizens of Bahir Dar do not take care of the lake and visible contamination is present (Kassie, 2011). As the city modernizes, it is converting more and more land into streets, parking lots, hotels etc., increasing the amount of surfaces that cannot absorb the seasonal rains in the area. This storm runoff overflows sewage systems and creates an influx of contaminated water entering Lake Tana (Wondie, 2009).

Table 5.3 Comparison of city characteristics of Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar, Mahiteme, 2005.



Figure 5.1 Water bodies and rivers in relation to two major cities. 

The World Development Indicators (WDI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) supplied data on water sources, sanitation facilities, and health expenditures in both urban and rural areas. Additionally, I obtained data from the 2009 “Ethiopian Rural Household Survey” (ERHS) performed by the International Food Policy Research Institute. The samples include 1,477 households across four Regional States; trained interviewers surveyed the family members on issues including health, agriculture, water quality, toilet facilities, and education (ERHS, 2009). Surveys were conducted in 1989, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2004, and 2009. I used the ERHS survey’s specific data files on the types of toilets used (Question #1), on garbage disposal (Questions #2), water sources (Question #4), and sickness rates to analyze country wide trends in sickness rates in relation to these variables. 

Statistical Tests Performed

In terms of assessing the quality of drinking water, sanitation, source of drinking water, type of toilet/access to one, and its relation to sickness, I used the statistical program Stata 12.0 to run a regression of these factors obtained from the ERHS. I specifically looked at age, health, garbage disposal, water source, and type of toilet. Occupation, “farmer” was used as a control variable, as most rural Ethiopians are farmers. My preliminary hypothesis was that a person’s source of drinking water would have a correlation with being sick in the last 40 days (and if so, for how many days). I based this hypothesis on information gathered from Ethiopian authors who made claims that rivers are widely used as disposal sites (Forum for Environment-Bahir Dar, 2010; Kuma, 2004).

I was lucky to find that the ERHS has available information on the type of toilet used in rural areas; I added the type of toilet to the regression. This decision was grounded in the fact that one study I read found that latrine coverage (see Table 5.2) had only grown by a rate of 0.2% per year over the last 30 years, and that latrine coverage for the country of Ethiopia was 15% in 2005 (Kumie & Ahmed, 2005). These statistics show that access to latrines has been a major issue for Ethiopia that has had little improvement, so it is bound to play a factor in current issues of health and sanitation.

In order to determine which regression was most appropriate to use for this analysis, I first looked at the distribution of the number of days sick (in the last four weeks) that Ethiopians reported (see Figure 5.2). The distribution of answers had a high number of respondents answering that they were sick “0” days. Figure 5.3 shows the distribution of days sick of people after I eliminated those people responding “0” days sick. Given the binary dichotomy between “not being sick any days in the last four weeks”, and those who answered “being sick some number of days,” I chose to use a Heckman model. Heckman models are used to eliminate selection bias when working with a non-randomly selected sample (Wiggins, 2001). Since there may be systematic differences between people who get sick and people who never get sick, the people who get sick are non-randomly selected from the population. I ran three Heckman models comparing sickness rates to how one’s garbage is disposed of; type of toilet used, and type of drinking water source, respectively. The calculations of these models can be found in Tables 5.8, 5.9, and 5.10, in the results section.

Figure 5.2 General distribution of the number of days sick reported by each respondent.

Figure 5.3  Distribution of the number of days sick each respondent gave, after eliminating those who were not sick at all (sick “0” days).

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Laws and Institutions

In order to fully understand currant waste management practices, and their resulting effects, it is important to examine the legal system that governs waste. Ethiopia follows a civil law pattern where laws are written by legislators instead of mandated by judges. The political legal system is fairly similar to the United States as there is a federal government and state governments, with the federal government having more power over regional governments. There is a Federal Supreme Court as well as provisions for each state to have its own district, appeals, and Supreme Court.

In terms of environmental law, Ethiopia’s Constitution is the most important source of environmental law. The basis for the Environmental Policy of Ethiopia are articles 92.1 and 92.2 of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia:

  • Article 92.1: “Government shall endeavor to ensure that all Ethiopians live in a clean and healthy environment”;
  • Article 92.2: “Government and citizens shall have the duty to protect the environment (Forum for Environment, 2010). 

The government issues environmental proclamations that are aimed at various sectors of the environment (land, biodiversity, etc.) which mandate the current laws. The Solid Waste Management Proclamation No. 513/2007 is one pertinent example.

The major environmental body in Ethiopia is the Environmental Protection Authority (EEPA). Within this agency are the Ministry of Agriculture, which is charged with managing forest, soil, land, and wildlife issues; the Ministry of Mines for mineral management; the Ministry of Energy for energy management; and the Ministry of Water Resources for managing the country’s water.

The EPA is responsible for federal level environmental protection by formulating the national environmental policy. It is also responsible for making sure that subordinate governing bodies are implementing policy that is consistent with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s 1995 Constitution. Federal level environmental policy is seen more as overarching while regional policy (that must fit within federal policy) is seen as far more practical in on the ground implementation (Forum for Environment-Bahir Dar, 2010; Kuma, 2004).

The EPA issued the Environmental Policy of Ethiopia which refers to waste management in three different articles, either directly or indirectly: 

  • Article 3.7 addresses issues related to human settlement, urban environment and environmental health; 
  • Article 3.8 addresses issues related to the control of hazardous Materials and pollution from industrial waste;  and
  • Article 3.9 addresses atmospheric pollution and climate change.

The primary national policy on waste management is the Solid Waste Management Proclamation No. 513. Released in February of 2007, the proclamation’s main goal is to increase community participation. The proclamation states:

  • it is essential to promote community participation in order to prevent the adverse effects and to enhance the benefits resulting from solid wastes; and
  • solid waste management action plans designed by, and implemented at, the lowest administrative units of urban administrations can ensure community participation (Proclamation No. 513, 2007)

The proclamation has five parts made up of 19 articles. These articles cover topics of obligation, solid waste management planning, collection & storage, transportation, treatment, disposal, incineration, recycling, and hazardous waste (See Table 3.1). 

This proclamation works hand in hand with the “Environmental Pollution Control Proclamation No. 300/2002” which mandates that all urban governments are obligated to devise and implement safe and effective mechanisms to handle, transport, and store municipal waste. It also states that any transporting or treatment of municipal waste can only be done with a permit from the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Agency (Forum for Environment-Bahir Dar, 2010).

Table 5.4 Breakdown of Solid Waste Management Proclamation No. 513 and the Environmental Pollution Control Proclamation.

Table 5.4 Note: Information from Forum for Environment – Bahir Dar 2010.

Regional solid waste management laws in Ethiopia are essentially the same as the national policy (Hailu, 2000). In the Amhara region where Bahir Dar is the capital, the regional law is the Basic Solid Waste Management Directive of Amhara Regional State Health Bureau 2009, which addresses issues of garbage classification, collections and storage, treatment, disposal, and recycling in the same manner as the national governmental policy (Forum for Environment –Bahir Dar, 2010).

International Waste Conventions

Ethiopia has ratified two important International Conventions in hopes of reducing the amount and severity of solid waste in the country (See Table 5.5). The Basel Convention is an international treaty whose goal is to decrease the movement of solid waste and hazardous waste between countries. The specific aim of the treaty is to prevent developed countries from transferring hazardous waste to less developed countries. Less developed countries often take the waste of others in return for monetary compensation. The Rotterdam Convention stipulates that hazardous waste importers must use full disclosure when dealing with potential importers. This transparency includes “proper labeling, the inclusion of directions on safe handling, and informing purchasers of any known restrictions or bans” (FFE, 2010). By ratifying both international convention treaties, Ethiopia can no longer accept waste from foreign countries. 

Table 5.5 Solid waste international conventions ratified by Ethiopia.



International NGOs Active in East Africa

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a multi-billion dollar foundation dedicated to reducing global poverty and improving global health. One of the Foundation’s main priorities is issues of water quality, sanitation, and hygiene in Africa. The foundation works to find sanitation options that are inexpensive and easy to use, with the hope of using waste treatment facilities to eventually reuse waste (The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2011).

There are three main areas of focus for the foundation when it writes grants; Sanitation Science and Technology, Delivery Models at Scale, and Policy and Advocacy. In the science area, they hope to create a waterless hygienic toilet through the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.” They also hope to collect the waste and use it to form building blocks that can replace conventional bricks. Another option they are pursuing is the use algae bacteria to treat the waste, a practice done at the waste water facility in Waterville, Maine (Kennebec [County] Water District). Bacteria treating waste produce nutrient rich fertilizer and methane gas which can power the facility (The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2011)

In terms of policy, the Foundation works to promote environmental waste policies that can actually work for the poor. It works primarily with local governments to implement measures for improved sanitation (The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2011). Environmental education is another key factor in their plan as they want to work with locals to raise awareness about sanitation and water quality in the countries of Kenya and Uganda.

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Table 5.6 Water source and sanitation data from the World Development Indicators (World Bank, 2010).





This table shows the differences between urban and rural areas, demonstrating how urban and rural areas need to be considered differently.

Case Studies

Figure 5.4 Aerial view of Bahir Dar.

Figure 5.5 Aerial view of Addis Ababa, Repi landfill indicated by red asterisk.

The following four graphs display information comparing the solid waste practices of Addis Ababa to the rest of the country.







Figure 5.6 Percentage of population that disposes of rubbish by burning in Addis Ababa and nationally; African Development Bank Group, 2010. 

This figure shows that the majority of people in Addis Ababa and Ethiopia nationally, burn their garbage as the primary means of disposal.







Figure 5.7 Percentage of rubbish disposal by the government or NGO in Addis Ababa and nationally; African Development Bank Group, 2010. 

This figure shows that a little over a quarter of the rubbish generated in Addis Ababa is collected by the government or NGOs, while less than 5% of rubbish generated nationally is collected by the same institutions.







Figure 5.8 Percentage of the population that uses a pit/heap for rubbish disposal in Addis Ababa and nationally; African Development Bank Group, 2010.

This figure shows that a small percentage of the population in Addis Ababa, and nationally, dispose of their garbage in pits or heap dumps.







Figure 5.9 Percentage of the population that disposes of rubbish by “other means” in Addis Ababa and nationally; African Development Bank Group, 2010.

This figure shows that a substantial percentage of the population in Addis Ababa, and nationally, dispose of their garbage by “other means.” The African Development Bank Group did not speculate on what “other means” actually signifies.

The first four graphs show waste management trends in the city of Addis Ababa and Ethiopia as a whole. Figure 5.6 shows that a majority of both populations burn garbage as their main source of waste management. Figure 5.8 shows that a small percentage of the population in Addis Abba and Ethiopia use a pit/dump to dispose of their waste. 

Data on waste water connections was obtained from the African Development Bank Group. Table 5.7 shows information on waste water connections for the city of Addis Ababa. 

Table 5.7 Waste water data for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; African Development Bank Group, 2010.

Rural Data 

Figure 5.10 shows how the source of drinking water affects the rate of sickness in the regions of Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP.

Figure 5.10 Rates of sickness by water source investigated across four regions.

For regression results, outcomes that are statistically significant are starred. 

Table 5.8 Regression comparing sickness rate and days sick with the type of toilet used.
Table 5.8 Notes: *, **, and ** indicate statistically significant at a 5%, 1% and .1% level (respectively).

When it comes to the type of toilet used (Table 5.8), “open defecation” (the use of no toilet), was found to lead to a significant increase in sickness when compared to those using a flush toilet. Table 5.7 shows information on waste water connections, including the percent of the population using a waste water connection and the price for a connection. It is no surprise that a flush toilet leads to a lower rate of sickness given its waste water connection. Only a small fraction of the population of Addis Ababa uses a waste water connections due to that fact that the connections costs $132 US dollars, and 39% of the Ethiopian population lives under the international poverty line (Table 5.7). 

Table 5.9 Regression comparing sickness rate and days sick with source of drinking water.

Table 5.9 Notes: *, **, and ** indicate statistically significant at a 5%, 1% and .1% level (respectively). 

Wells (lined, protected water sources) and fresh water springs as drinking sources were found to significantly lower the incidence of getting sick, while using a borehole as a water source (an unlined, unprotected water source) was found to increase the likelihood of being sick. 

Table 5.10 Regression comparing sickness rate and how one’s garbage is collected.

Table 5.10 Notes: *, **, and ** indicate statistically significant at a 5%, 1% and .1% level (respectively). 

The regression in Table 5.10 suggests that burning garbage is associated with an increased chance of getting sick, but only for a few days. This was statistically significant across all regions studied, the age variables, and occupation as a farmer (the majority of ERHS respondents were farmers). While burning waste is not directly related to water quality, it is important to account for it because it is a major method of waste management practiced by the people of Ethiopia which it leads to increased rates of sickness.

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Given the findings that improper waste management and toilet use cause sickness in Ethiopia, these issues must be analyzed in both urban and rural areas.

Urban Areas

In the city of Bahir Dar, there are no municipal solid waste treatment facilities and no solid waste transfer stations. Presently, the only method of disposal is open, uncovered disposal fields (FFE-Bahir Dar, 2010). Due to the city’s proximity to Lake Tana, the possibility for open, unlined landfills to contaminate local drinking water, or for refuse to be washed into the lake from storm runoff, is high (Wondie, 2009). The lake is so contaminated that Abebu Kassie, a woman from Bahir Dar that was interviewed, refuses to swim it (Kassie, 2011). NGOs can help combat this problem by funding lined landfills with effective caps. If modern lined landfills can be built in urban areas, then water contamination would likely decrease. Additionally, covering the trash with a cap would prevent it from affecting the environment around it (FFE –Bahir Dar, 2010). Similar problems with unlined waste pit disposal exist in Addis Ababa as well (Kuma, 2004). There is definitely a major problem involving unlined disposal areas and drinking water contamination, which NGOs can play a part in remedying. 

Open pit/dump sites are a major problem in both rural and urban areas (Mahiteme, 2005). This research has shown that a majority of these pit disposal sites, whether official sites or not, are unlined, which can greatly increase the rate of sickness due to contaminants seeping into the ground water (UN Report, 2010; Kuma, 2004). This issue is again portrayed in Table 5.9 where source of drinking water is regressed against being sick.

Rural Areas

In terms of drinking water sources, boreholes are primary ways that rural Ethiopians access drinking water because of its affordability and practicality in areas without infrastructure (Kumie, 2005). A borehole is an unlined, hence unprotected, water source where people dig directly into the ground and use the water they find (PLAN, 2007)  This trend is troubling due to the findings in Table 5.7, where it was found that there was a connection between using “no toilet,” or open defecation, and getting sick. The practice of open defecation is areas where bore holes are numerous, is a recipe for disaster due to the possibility of human waste seeping into groundwater.

In 2008, only 8% of the rural Ethiopian population had access to improved sanitation facilities (flush toilet/protected system) as shown in Table 5.6. With the prevalence of open defecation in rural communities, there is certainly a need for latrines in each village, an action that NGOs can finance, while also educating the local community on sanitation and latrine use.

Private Sector Involvement 

The city of Bahir Dar moved from government funded waste management collection to private sector collections in 2009 (Melaku, 2011). The private company active in the city is called Dream Light Waste Management P.L.C., which was created in response to the poor cleanliness of the city. The company relies heavily on engaging the community through household waste management and house to house collections, all in return for small service fee (FFE-Bahir Dar, 2010). Household collection has greatly reduced the amount of open pit dumps on city streets. The local community covers about 50% of Dream Light’s costs through service fees of $0.80 US dollars per household and $1-75 US dollars per commercial site (FFE-Bahir Da,r 2010).

Private sector involvement is an avenue that the city of Addis Ababa should strongly consider. Solid waste management in the city is handled primary by the government; “the involvements of NGOs and other private actors are very minimal” (Mahiteme, 2005, p. 10). Tadesse Kuma’s report characterizes the cleanliness of the city as

          Eye-catching piles of garbage, flying ‘festal’ (which is increasingly used for packaging), rubbish,
          construction demolition and moved-earth from new construction sites littering the urban space
          indefinitely. Obnoxious odors emanating from decomposing solid wastes, semi-liquid and liquid waste are
          sickening all citizens (Kuma, 2004, p. 4). 

The city utilizes many open containers on streets and expects citizens to dispose of their garbage in them. Figure 5.8 shows a small percentage of waste being placed in open pit dumps, and a much larger percentage of waste being disposed of by “other means.” The African Development Bank did not clarify what “other means” signifies, but a review of literature speculates that this waste is being disposed of in the streets or into local water sources (Kumie, 2005 & 2004; Mahiteme, 2005). Implementing effective private sector involvement, much like Dream Light in Bahir Dar, would work to alleviate the number of pit dumps, and offer effective house to house collection that would dissuade citizens from throwing waste in to streets or rivers. NGOs can either act as private companies doing the waste management, or they can provide the seed money for small businesses to start up in the waste management sector.

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An investigation of waste management practices in the cities of Addis Abba and Bahir Dar has underscored weaknesses of government involvement and policy and the strengths of private sector involvement in urban areas. Bivariate and regression analyses of Ethiopian Rural Household Survey data highlighted significant relationships between latrine and toilet use, drinking water sources, garbage disposal methods and sickness rates in the country of Ethiopia. Unprotected water sources like boreholes are at a high risk for being contaminated by waste through groundwater percolation. Sources of drinking water are affecting sickness at a varying scale across all regions, specifically in rural areas. 

In rural areas, the protection of groundwater is even more paramount due to widespread borehole use. If lined disposal sites are created in rural villages, they can handle waste without contaminating groundwater. NGOs can also help protect ground water by building latrines in rural areas, which will greatly reduce human waste from contaminating water sources. NGO involvement in the financing and building of lined landfills and latrines will greatly reduce the contamination of groundwater and sickness rates in urban and rural areas.

 It is recommended that local NGOs become involved in private sector waste management by financing private sector companies in urban areas. Dream Light Waste Management Company operating in Bahir Dar has shown to be more effective than previous governmental practices in waste collection, and at a lower expense to the local people. While improving the amount of waste collected from households, Dreamlight still is encountering problems by placing waste in unlined, uncovered, disposal sites in the city. The city of Addis Ababa is a prime candidate for private sector involvement in waste management as effective household collection will reduce the amount of open disposal sites/bins on city streets. The main issues in both urban areas are the lack of lined, covered landfills available to receive waste. If NGO’s are also able to construct modern lined, capped landfills, then unlined drinking water sources can be better protected, lowering rates of water contamination, and preventing disease and illness.

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Works Cited 

Abera, Kumie. & Ali, Ahmed. “An overview of environmental health status in Ethiopia with particular emphasis to its organization, drinking water, drinking water and sanitation: A literature Survey” Department of Community Health, Medical Factuality, Addis Ababa University. (2005) 

Abiye, Tamiru Alemayehu, Hameed Sulieman, and Michael Ayalew. “Use of treated wastewater for managed aquifer recharge in highly populated urban centers: a case study in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.” Environmental Geology 58.1 (2009): 55-59. Environment Complete. EBSCO. Web. 18 Sept. 2011.

“Assessment of the Solid Waste Management System of Bahir Dar Town and the Gaps Identified for the development of an ISWM Plan”. Forum for Environment; 2010. Report nr 1.

“Census 2007”  Central Statistical Agency (of Ethiopia)  (2007)  10/24/2011.

Cox, Jason. “Stranded half a world away, local women gets kids out of dumps”  Keizertimes. May (2010) 10/5/2011.

 Dobe, Madhumita, AK Sur, BB Biswas  “Sanitation: The hygienic means of promoting health” Indian Journal of Public Health  (2011)  Vol. 55, Nos. 1, p.49-51.

“Ethiopian Rural Household Surveys (ERHS)” International Food Policy Research Institute  (2009).

Gilbert, Alan. “Third World Cities: The Changing National Settlement System”  Urban Studies (1990) Vol. 30, Nos. 4/5, p.721-740.

Hailu, Girma  “Environment Law Ethiopia”  International Encyclopedia of Laws: Kulwer Law International”  Aug (2000).

“Harmful Substances”  The United Nations Environment Programme. 2011  9/23/(2011).  

“International bank for the Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)”  World Bank  (2011)  9/23/2011. 

Kassie, Abebu. 2011 pers. comm. Waterville, Maine. December 1, (2011).

Kuma, Tadesse. “Dry waste management in Addis Ababa city”. ; Ecological and Environmental Economics Programme Conference; January 5th – 16th (2004)

Mahiteme, Yirgalem. “Landfill Management, its Impacts on the local Environment and Urban Sustainability” NTNU: Innovation and Creativity (2005).

Melaku, Dereje. “We Expect from UNDP “beyond the common”  UNDP  Interview: June( 2011).

Montgomery, Mark R. “The Urban Transformation of the Developing World”  Science  February (2008):  Vol. 319 no. 5864 pp. 761-764.

(UN Report 2010)  “Overview of Addis Ababa City Solid Waste Management System” The United Nations; (2010). 

“Ethiopian communities take the lead in ending open Defecation” PLAN  (2007). 

S. Harris A. and Kiel, Roger. “Global Cities and the Spread of Infectious Disease: The Case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Toronto, Canada” Urban Studies Vol. 43, No. 3, 491–509, March (2006)

Scheinberg, Anne et al. “Solid Waste management in the Worlds Cities” WASTE  2010.

“System Facts”  Kennebec Water District  (2011).

“Waste Sanitation and Hygiene”  The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  (2011)  9/22/2011. 

Woldegiorgis, Girma (Presidential office of)  “Proclamation NO. 513/2007: Solid Waste Management Proclamation”  Feb (2007).

(WHO) “52 Million people in Ethiopia defecate in the open”  WHO/Unicef  (2008).

Wiggins, Vince. “The Heckman Model”  STATACorp  March (2001).

Wondie, T. A. “The Impact of Urban Storm Water Runoff and Domestic Waste Effluent on Water Quality of Lake Tana and Local Groundwater Near the City of Bahir Dar, Ethiopia” Master of Professional Studies Cornell University, (2009). Cornell: Web.

Zerbock, Olar. “Urban Solid Waste Management: Waste Reduction in Developing Nations” Michigan Technological University (2003)  11/3/2011.

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Appendix 5A


*Question (How do household characteristics of Ethiopian respondents affect the likelihood of sickness in the past 4 weeks?)
*Do-file for use with the 2009 Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS) available through IFPRI.

*To merge the demographics file with other files you must create a unique identifier variable that combines region, peasant association, and household ID codes.
*Change the directories in the code below so that they match the source & destination of your data files.
use C:\Users\mcheever\Documents\Matt\R7p1_s1a_yyrv2.dta
gen uniqueID=region*100000+pa*1000+hhid
sort uniqueID idp1s1a
quietly by uniqueID idp1s1a:  gen dup = cond(_N==1,0,_n)
drop if dup>0
save “C:\Users\mcheever\Documents\Matt\ERHS2009.dta”, replace

//Merging individual-level demographics and individual-level data files

*To merge demographics with individual-level illness data (Part 3, Section 3)
use “C:\Users\mcheever\Documents\Matt\R7p3_s3.dta”, clear
*Generate the unique identifier to be used when merging files.
gen uniqueID=region*100000+pa*1000+hhid
*Generate an additional identifier that designates each individual within the household – note that this variable has a different name in each individual-level data file, but the values are always the same.
gen idp1s1a = idp3s3
sort uniqueID hhid idp1s1a
quietly by uniqueID hhid idp1s1a:  gen dup = cond(_N==1,0,_n)
drop if dup>0
*Merge with the ERHS2009 file. The specification “1:1” tells Stata that both datasets have several observations per household so it should match one for each family member.
* Note that people not answering this section of the survey are droppped.
merge 1:1 uniqueID hhid idp1s1a using “C:\Users\mcheever\Documents\Matt\ERHS2009.dta”
drop _merge
save “C:\Users\mcheever\Documents\Matt\ERHS2009health.dta”, replace

use “C:\Users\mcheever\Documents\Matt\R7p3_s2.dta”, clear
*Generate the unique identifier to be used when merging files.
gen uniqueID=region*100000+pa*1000+hhid
sort uniqueID hhid
quietly by uniqueID hhid:  gen dup = cond(_N==1,0,_n)
drop if dup>0
*Merge with the ERHS2009 file. The specification “1:1” tells Stata that both datasets have several observations per household so it should match one for each family member.
* Note that people not answering this section of the survey are droppped.
merge 1:m uniqueID hhid using “C:\Users\mcheever\Documents\Matt\ERHS2009health.dta”
drop _merge
save “C:\Users\mcheever\Documents\Matt\ERHS2009healthandsan.dta”, replace


* Focus on the following survey questions (ERHS 2009)
* q4p3s2 = What is your main source of drinking water?
* q1ap3s3 = Any illness or injury in the last four weeks?

tab  q4p3s2 q1ap3s3

gen source= q4p3s2
gen ill= q1ap3s3
replace ill=0 if ill==2

replace ill=. if illreplace source=. if source

*label our new variable
label define ill1 0 “No” 1 “Yes”
label values ill ill1
*check to make code and labels worked
tab ill

*label our new variable
label define source1 1 “Pond or Dam” 2 “Stream or River” 3 “Spring” 4 “Well” 5 “Borehole” 6 “Rain” 7 “Shared Pipe” 10 “Others” 11 ” Piped Water”
label values source source1
*check to make our code and labels worked
tab source

*merge/replace small N categories for water source
replace source = 2 if source==1
replace source = 10 if source==6
replace source = 7 if source==11
tab source

gen age=  q2p1s1a
gen farmer= q4ap1s1a
replace farmer=0 if farmer>1 | farmergen days_sick= q1bp3s3

* clean duration sickness varibale
histogram days_sick
replace days_sick=0 if days_sick==-77
replace days_sick=0 if days_sick>=77
histogram days_sick

* eliminate one extreme outlier (sick > 40 days)
histogram days_sick if days_sick>0
replace days_sick=. if days_sick>40
histogram days_sick if days_sick>0

heckman days_sick i.source i.region age, select (ill=i.source i.region age farmer)

*How is garbage disposed of?
gen garbage=  q2p3s2
replace garbage=. if garbage==-99
label define garbage1 1 “Household Dump” 2 “Burned” 3 “Green Manure” 4 “Burried” 5 “Collected from HH” 6 “Collected from Dumping Point”
label values garbage garbage1

*Regression for waste disposal and water source
logit ill i.garbage i.source

tab garbage
tab source

logit ill i.garbage i.source if region==1
logit ill i.garbage i.source if region==3
logit ill i.garbage i.source if region==4
logit ill i.garbage i.source if region==7

heckman days_sick i.garbage i.source i.region age, select (ill=i.garbage i.source i.region age farmer)

gen toilet=q1p3s2
replace toilet=. if toilet >=7

tab toilet

*merge/replace small N categories for sanitation
replace toilet = 2 if toilet==1
replace toilet = 3 if toilet==4
replace toilet = 6 if toilet==5

*label our new variable
label define toilet1 2 “Flush Toilet” 3 “Pit Latrine” 6 “No Toilet”
label values toilet toilet1
*check to make our code and labels worked
tab toilet

label list garbage1

heckman days_sick i.garbage i.region age, select (ill=i.garbage i.region age farmer)

heckman days_sick i.toilet i.region age, select (ill=i.toilet i.region age farmer)

heckman days_sick i.source i.region age, select (ill=i.source i.region age farmer)

*not controlling for region

heckman days_sick i.garbage age, select (ill=i.garbage age farmer)

heckman days_sick i.toilet age, select (ill=i.toilet age farmer)

heckman days_sick i.source age, select (ill=i.source age farmer)


Appendix 5B

Table 5.B Key informant contact information.

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