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Economic analysis of solid waste management and drainage for climate resilient cities in South Asia

Most fast-growing cities in South Asia face increased waterlogging and water contamination from improperly managed solid waste. Extreme weather events, including floods and droughts, are expected to further complicate the operation of water-supply, drainage, and sewerage infrastructure, making good solid waste management an important ingredient of climate resilience. Good solid waste management involves reducing volumes, improving collection, investing in drainage, replacing riverside and wetland dumping with engineered landfills, and identifying sustainable mechanisms to finance waste management. Research is needed to understand the potential impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on waste management, and to identify what changes may be needed in waste management operations, planning, and policy.

This research project, implemented in collaboration with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, based in Kathmandu, Nepal, will undertake such research to increase climate resilience in three cities in South Asia: Bharatpur and Kawasoti in Nepal and Sylhet in Bangladesh. The project will inform management and policy decisions in the cities with improved evidence on and capacity to examine several key factors, including the solid waste drivers of water-logged drains and how these are likely to change with climate changes; efficacy and viability of different waste reduction approaches, including financial and infrastructure implications; and the use of GIS (global information systems) and drainage modeling for the future climate-smart planning of the city. The project will also study and pilot sustainable schemes for segregation and conversion of wastes into “organic fertilizer/energy” products for poor local communities using a cost-benefit analysis.

Beyond the three cities, the research will reach out to a broader group of stakeholders to influence how cities think about and plan for waste management in the context of climate change. Research outputs include peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and policy briefs. Other communications products to disseminate research findings are planned, including TV and radio programs and social media postings.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Bhim Adhikari
Total Funding
CA$ 1,034,200.00
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Climate Change
Institution Country
Project Leader
Mani Nepal
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development/Centre international de mise en valeur intégrée des montagnes