MAPUTO, February 20, 2018 – With its rapidly expanding cities, burgeoning slums and informal settlements, Maputo’s municipal authorities lack the capacity to provide services such as solid waste management.
Citizens of Maputo have identified the need to address waste collection as the highest priority with potential to impact positively their lives, according to a recent World Bank-sponsored Citizen Report Card Survey. Poor waste collection is deemed a life-threatening health hazard, polluting the environment and is responsible for several deadly epidemics such malaria, cholera, typhoid fever, among others, which affect disproportionately the poor. Trash and waste also play a critical role in recurrent floods, blocking waterways and clogging drainage systems. Compounding the challenge, Maputo’s municipality-related services relied on 45 different subcontracted companies, leading to poor coordination and inability to isolate responsible parties and triage issues.
With support from the World Bank, a longtime partner with the municipality of Maputo through a series of IDA-funded interventions such as ProMaputo I & II, the municipality developed Monitoria Participative Maputo (MOPA), an innovative digital platform to serve as an interface between citizen and municipal solid waste management services.
The locally sourced, user-centric platform provides an accessible and scalable way for citizens to report solid waste management issues, such as loose or burning trash. In turn, the city council can coordinate an efficient response, and the process also generates valuable planning data that is open to the public, which improves transparency and accountability.
“Thanks to MOPA, it’s possible to identify spots of uncollected waste in our neighborhood and act on them immediately,” said Sebastião João, a MOPA user and resident of the populous Chamanculo neighborhood in the outskirts of town. “This is only possible because people can now notify the municipality in real time, allowing for greater responsiveness, and transparency of the whole process.”