Waste for Value (W4V) in Ethiopia

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)

Waste for Value (W4V) in Ethiopia

Contact details 

Submitted by: Bereket Seifu, WASH Program Manager

Email: [email protected]   

Website: https://www.kirkensnodhjelp.no/en/



Twitter: @KirkensNodhjelp


Introduction to the project




October 2019 – 31st of December 2019.

NCE is expected to be approved, which would allow the project to continue until March 31st 2020.


The project tackles plastic waste in Jewi and Nguenyyiel Refugee Camps and Gambella Town through refugee and host community social business enterprises and environment-friendly intervention.

Ethiopia is one of the States included in the CRRF (following the New York declaration in September 2016) rollout which was officially launched on 28 November 2017. The Ethiopian Government adopted a four-pronged approach :

  • Implementing the nine pledges of the CRRF.
  • Strengthening legal and policy components i.e. approved new refugee proclamation which is more in line with the CRRF.
  • Supporting host populations i.e. integration of host communities in refugee response e.g. utility water supplu to Etang refugee camps.
  • Strengthening coordination mechanisms.

All this enables refugee to enjoy their rights and have better conditions to actively involve and work under this initiative.

In addition to this, the international community’s high interest to protect the environment and to support the new environmental-friendly initiatives is the reason to get further funding for this innovative pilot project.


- ETH Gov’t New initiative: Plastic bag ban imminent, https://www.capitalethiopia.com/capital/plastic-bag-ban-imminent/;

- The Norway Government push for a stronger plastic waste control: https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/basel-convention/id2643569/

This project eases pressure on the host country by reducing the risk of solid waste pollution to the environment of the host and refugee community in Gambella. The result is improved health and productivity. The refugee community is able to generate income through plastic and paper recycling business and will be able to pay for the service bills. E.g. water supply, electricity, solid waste collection, health care, etc.

Better household economy is maintained through the creation of new jobs within established plastic and paper waste collector associations and cooperatives; and business linkage creates with private partners COBA IMPACT PLC (plastic recycling company0 and PENDA PLC (paper recycling company) based in Addis Ababa.

The established refugee and host social business enterprises who work on the recycling businesses have been work together for the development of their business.

This created a place to talk, negotiate and find solutions for their problems. This encourages peace-building in the region. Since both communities mutually benefit and are equally integrated, peaceful co-existence is facilitated.

The most vulnerable and marginalized members of the group are often considered to be involved and can collect, sort and store plastic and paper waste at collection centres.

Effectiveness and efficiency: less financial and resource investment and high return value. 

Project aims

  • To contribute to improved health and well-being of the affected population.
  • To advocate for the reduction of plastic waste in refugee camps and facilitate the reusing of plastic waste.
  • To install recycling value chains that can generate income for the host and refugee community while cleaning their environment.
  • To collect 28,000 kg of plastic PET bottles and sell it to recycling company with a value of $7000, which will be distributed among at least 150 families who participate in this business.


  • Norwegian Church Aid-NCA
  • Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Development and Social Services Commission (EECMY-DASSC):
  • Coba Impact Manufacturing PLC (Plastic recycling company)
  • Penda Manufacturing PLC (Paper recycling company)
  • Ethiopian Government Organization, Agency for Refugee & Returnee Affairs –ARRA

How challenges were overcome 

  • The community’s low awareness regarding solid waste management in general was addressed by an intense awareness raising effort by trained Hygiene Community Outreach workers in the camp and members of waste collection associations and cooperatives in Gambella town.
  • The nonexistence of well-organised small business cooperatives in Gambella region was a further challenge. We promoted the aim of the project and developed good partnerships with private business companies.
  • To tackle the slow implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework by all stakeholders at ground level, we provided capacity building workshops for cooperating partners.
  • A root cause of the tension between the refugee and host community stems from the refugee-focused response in the past, which only supported the needs of refugees even though the host community was affected by the crisis as well. To ameliorate this, we ensured the mutual benefit of both communities in this project.

Results of the Good Practice 

  • The environment is being protected and the natural ecosystem of the area will also be maintained. This will also contribute to improve health in the community.
  • Better household economy: More than 150 refugee and host community families will have a share from the expected total amount of money generated ($7000) from this business at the end of the pilot project.
  • The peaceful coexistence of the refugee and host community is facilitated as they are benefiting equally from the project.
  • Solid waste, including plastics and pieces of metal, is being collected and recycled by solid waste recycling cooperatives made up of refugee and host community members.
  • Refugees and host communities have improved waste collection and recycling skills.
  • Small-scale business opportunities were created for the affected population engaged in waste collection and recycling.
  • Refugees and host communities in Gambella were provided with training on small business management.