Tanzanian Municipalities now track Garbage Collection Using Mobile Phones


src.adapt.960.high.Africa_mobile_phone-112213.1385170524912Solid waste management in Tanzania is one of the basic services that municipalities in the region have struggled with for years.  Studies indicate that the challenges in the collection of solid waste have been a result of poor infrastructure and equipment as well as workers/ truck drivers not doing their job effectively.  Consequently, residents resort to dumping waste in open spaces, along streets and even in beach areas.

In an effort to improve the service, the country recently launched a new system that allows councils and municipalities to monitor garbage collection by tracking vehicle movements and the amount of load carried- using mobile phones. The system also issues reports indicating the daily routine of cleaning in a certain municipal area.

The system is connected via a mobile phone and the councils easily receive messages as the trucks come in and out of the streets.  “A chairman can decide at what moment to receive a report at his/her convenient time, and inspect if the truck has loaded to the maximum,” PII Director of Business Development, Ebenezer Msuya said.

Trucks are meant to collect garbage up to four times a week but the municipalities in the regions have picked up that this is usually not the case, in most instances- the trucks show up once a week, if at all.

Innovation in basic services, we can only hope that this brings change to Tanzanian cities and that this will motivate workers to do their jobs more effectively.