GLOBAL ALLIANCE OF WASTE PICKERS
GLOBAL ALLIANCE OF
WASTE PICKERS
The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers is a networking process supported by WIEGO, among thousands of waste picker organizations with groups in more than 28 countries covering mainly Latin America, Asia and Africa.
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Collective des groupements intervenant dans l’ Assaissement au Mali (COGIAM)

Bamako, Mali

Primary information

Year formed
2004
Formally registered
On
Language
Bamanankan, Bambaro, Bomu, French, Tieyako bozo
Number of groups
120
Number of members
613
Type of members
Members are waste picker organizations, Members are waste pickers
Occupation of members
Waste collectors, Waste pickers
Type of Organization
Association
Organizational Reach
National
Organization Structure
President, General Secretary, Administrative Secretary, Foreign Affairs Secretary, Treasurer, Dispute Officer
Objectives
Improve waste picker living conditions, improve working conditions, keep local area clean, contribute to cleaning the environment, fight against discrimination and poverty, recognition of waste pickers, strengthen unity and cohesion among waste pickers, social and economic empowerment of waste pickers, information sharing, influence public policies
Partnering organizations
CEKA=KALASAKA Mali, SNV Netherlands, DED Germany
Affiliations
Ngo
Funding
Self funded
Internal elections
Every 5 years
Women composition

Benefits

Services

How is the relationship with the municipality?
Excellent and/or friendly

Complementary Information

Information Source
WORD 27/06/2013, Africa 2012, Africa 2013

Comments / Narrative

Formal Waste Management System: The city of Bamako produces much waste which is not well managed. The transport of waste from households, factories and other generation sites is a growing problem in Bamako. Thus the quantity of waste collected every day is far from the real quantity produced. Families are charged to collect the household refuse in order to make them available to the GIE (Groupements d’ Interet Economique). Since 1992 the municipality of Bamako has promoted a social employment scheme with the city’s waste management division. It has granted five-year contracts to small enterprises (called GIE, Groupements d’interet economique) run by formerly unemployed, though educated people. Residents put their waste in metallic or plastic dust bins that each household must have in front of its door. About 120 groups collect this waste door-to-door with donkey carts from the eighty city zones. The groups, composed of 5 to 30 members, are organized in one association, working at the national level. The GIEs regularly get fees from the households, which are negotiated for each contract with the municipality. This has created an incentive for the GIE to provide a high quality service, because if households are unsatisfied they stop payment. Also due to the proximity, the households constantly give feedback to the GIE supervisors and contribute to a constant service improvement. The GIEs transport the waste from the households to transfer stations. The municipality is then supposed to transfer the waste to the landfill. However, as the city is currently without a landfill, the transfer stations themselves have become permanent dumpsites. Apart from creating a sanitation crisis, the GIEs find it very difficult to dispose of the waste in the overwhelmed transfer stations and at times have to travel further away to find an alternative place to dump. The GIE employees are allowed by their employers to remove part of the recyclables, so that they can complement their salaries. The rest of the recyclables are collected by independent waste pickers, mainly women and children, at the transfer stations. Both the GIE employees and the waste pickers then sell the collected materials to junk dealers. The waste pickers are slowly starting to get organized. COGIAM is demanding that the municipality find a location for the landfill and appoint their organization for its management. They claim to have the capability to do it, if they can get some technical assistance. Foreign private companies from the USA, France, Germany and lately China have also approached public authorities with similar demands, but for the moment their attempts have failed. COGIAM is confident that the municipality will give them preference, recognizing that they would generate better employment opportunities and assure a fairer distribution of benefits. Their ambition goes beyond creating a landfill. In fact, their proposal includes a recycling unit in the landfill to divert recyclable materials. In their opinion, this would allow them to obtain higher recycling rates (and the consequent environmental benefits), apart from considerably improving the working conditions of waste pickers. The recycling unit would allow them to manage larger quantities of recyclables and sell them directly to the recycling industry, so as to obtain better prices compared to the ones now offered by intermediaries, meaning the junk dealers. At present, the waste pickers are not organized and COGIAM intends to integrate them in their organization. COGIAM also intends to provide waste picker training, personal protective equipment and technical and financial support. COGIAM has also undertaken a campaign to raise awareness among all the citizens, concerning waste management. As the President puts it, “this is our dream: whenever people generate some waste, they put it in a bin. In a clean city, our children could play everywhere.”



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