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KNOW Policy Brief #1:
Integration of small-scale waste businesses 
into the urban economy 

By Shuaib Lwasa, Teddy Kisembo, Judith Mbabazi, Hafisa Namuli, Cassidy Johnson and Vanesa Castán Broto

This Policy Brief from the KNOW Kampala team at the Urban Action Lab, Makerere University, focuses on briquette-making as an alternative livelihood for the urban poor in Kampala. It examines the integration of the urban poor into the urban economy via briquette-making. Briquette-making consists of practices to manage organic waste and turn it into useful products such as energy briquettes. At the current micro-level of operation, these practices recover less than 5% of the organic waste generated in Kampala. Briquette-making thus has enormous potential for improving waste management at the city level supporting alternative livelihoods. Briquettes also provide a sustainable source of renewable energy for impoverished households. 

Examples of existing community-based organisations and enterprises producing briquettes, show that briquette-making could replace up to half of all the charcoal used in the city. Partnerships with community-based briquette enterprises can generate multiple economic and social benefits in both the informal and formal waste management sector.

Suggested citation: 

Lwasa, S; Kisembo, T; Mbabazi, J; Namuli, H; Johnson, C; Castán Broto, V (2020). Integration of small-scale waste businesses into the urban economy, KNOW Policy Brief #1, Kampala: Urban Action Lab, Makerere University


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