Rising quantities of waste are posing increasing problems for countries of MENA region and are having adverse effects on the environment, the quality of drinking water, and human health. An integrated waste management system geared towards conserving resources needs solutions that are tailored to each individual region and country. There is currently no formal, structured exchange of experience in this region. Various stakeholders are searching for technical, financial and organizational solutions, often independently of one another.
Goals and Objectives: The mechanism, introduced in 2009, is aimed to strengthen human and institutional competencies in integrated waste management in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The project is working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to turn informal contacts in the waste management sector into a functional, formal network structure. The SWEEP-Net (Solid Waste Exchange of Information and Expertise Network in the MENA Region) regional network connects experts from national public institutions, local authorities, business, the scientific community and civil society.
Implementation: A steering committee including representatives of the partner ministries has been set up. Needs-oriented training sessions are helping to strengthen human and institutional competencies in integrated waste management. The SWEEP-Net website provides members with access to the network's knowledge base.
Achievements: Due the solution’s efforts the following results achieved so far:
- An efficient network structure has been created. The network has determined its strategic orientation, developed new methods of communicating and set up a knowledge management system.
- Nine partner ministries (national coordinators) are represented on the steering committee.
- The statutes of the network have been recognised by ministerial signature in five countries (Tunisia, Mauritania, Morocco, Egypt and Yemen) and ratified by a cabinet resolution of the Yemeni Government.
- The SWEEP-Net database includes more than 300 documents from the region and provides access to over 300 waste experts. Publications inform the network's members about best practices in the region and other countries and encourage participants to share their knowledge and experience.
- The network has drawn up comprehensive, standardised country profiles and reports for member countries, as well as a regional benchmarking report. These documents are regularly updated.
- SWEEP-Net has held four regional conferences attended by around 600 experts to date. The network offers regular training sessions on specialist topics. Approximately 1.400 experts have taken part in over 40 regional and national workshops. Five bilateral South-South exchanges have been organised so far.
In all SWEEP-Net Partner Countries, the government is either the major financier of MSW collection and disposal such as in Tunisia, Lebanon and Yemen; or it fills the gap between the costs and the revenues of MSW such as in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Cost recovery is partially implemented in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon (Zahle only) and the Occupied Palestinian Territory; unlike Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen and Mauritania where costs are not recovered through the operation of services. Cost recovery arrangements are made through the electricity bills such as in Egypt and in Jordan.
Budget: Only for Lebanon since 1996-2010: approximately 97 million dollars
Partners: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Municipalities of Beirut, Rabat, and Tunis, Ministries of Environment of Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia; the World Bank.
For more information:
Solid Waste Exchange of Information and Expertise Network in the MENA Region (SWEEP-Net) GIZ Office
 SWEMP (outside Greater Beirut area): Project was initiated in 1996. Objectives were to equip municipalities outside the GBA with collection vehicles, close open dumps, construct between 10 to 15 sanitary landfills, capacity strengthening of municipalities and promotion of public sector participation (World Bank)