Debris and Waste Management


Natural disasters and man-made conflicts often destroy or severely damage community infrastructure and houses, generating huge volumes of debris and waste while displacing large numbers of people. Debris and waste can pose serious safety and health threats to the affected populations and hinder their access to humanitarian aid and public services. This in turn severely impacts on local authorities who are faced with significantly higher volumes of debris and waste as well as destroyed infrastructure, overwhelming their capacity to manage the emergency and take swift action to recover from the crisis.

Debris management, municipal waste management and community infrastructure rehabilitation interventions in emergencies are critical to restore access to essential, and sometimes lifesaving, basic services and humanitarian aid. Such interventions can reduce safety and health threats to affected populations that are generated by debris and waste, whilst also stabilizing livelihoods through emergency employment.

The lack of proper disposal of disaster waste including wastes from IDP camps, households, health care facilities and relief programmes can be a threat to public health, safety and the environment as well as a major impediment to post-disaster rescue and reconstruction operations. It is our experience that disaster waste is often managed in an ad hoc manner, if at all, and that substantial improvements can be made in response efforts if proper capacities, structures and systems are adequately built. It is a question, we found out, of political priorities and readiness to learn and adapt. It is also our experience that reusing and recycling debris and waste can be the catalyst for promoting longer-term sustainable solutions where debris and waste can turn into a valuable resource for reconstruction and generate much-needed income.

For this reason, impactfulAID services are available for both rapid response support and preparedness planning and involve training, advice and identification and procurement of specialist equipment and machinery. It is important to underline that without adequate and appropriate equipment and machinery in the recovery phase, it is often impossible to implement successful disaster waste management projects. For this reason, we help assess needs, develop the appropriate technical specifications and support the procurement process as well.

Our most requested support services include:

  • Sustainable livelihoods and job creation in waste and debris recycling;
  • Institutional strengthening for improved services delivery in waste management and debris recycling planning;
  • Economic regeneration by supporting value chains in waste and recycling;
  • Recycling debris and rubble into (re)construction materials; and
  • Preparedness planning; needs and damage assessment and project design