With the aim for organizing waste collectors into cooperatives, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched a “Rapid assessment of the waste management market in Senegal for the use of the cooperative advantage in the sector” and a “Rapid assessment of the potential for a cooperative approach to waste management in Senegal”. The launch will include national workshops with UNIDO, focusing on the plastics value chain, to discuss on the creation of a new industry around plastic, with high employment and income potential.
Like many other countries, Senegal suffers from a lack of access to waste management services and the poor urban population of Senegal’s cities suffers disproportionately from the problems linked to the poor management of solid waste: pollution of the air, surrounding waters, etc. In addition, waste pickers are mainly low-income women and men who migrate from rural areas to collect, sort and sell waste from the streets or landfills, working in unprotected conditions and increasing health risks. By organizing in an associative or cooperative form, waste pickers can access economic formalization and social inclusion and benefit from market access, occupational health and safety, social protection and a stable income.
In this vein, the ILO, in 2019, established a partnership with WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment) to explore the possibilities of organizing informal waste pickers from Mbeubeuss into cooperatives to improve their working conditions. In 2019, the two organizations co-organized a workshop bringing together the main national institutions involved in waste management, including the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the National Waste Management Program and the President and 20 members of an association of informal waste pickers in Senegal.