What We Do

Disasters and conflicts generate dangerous wastes and often enormous quantities of debris. The uncontrolled dumping of solid waste from camps, households and relief programmes compounds the problem – this can pose a major threat to public health and hinder reconstruction efforts and recovery.

Disaster Waste Recovery’s expert teams hit the ground in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, empowering crisis-affected people to rebuild resilient and peaceful communities living in healthier environments.

RESPONSE: Our rapid response teams give communities practical waste management and environmental protection support, as well as skills and expertise. We work alongside the organisations responsible for disaster waste projects in the countries affected, as well as the local communities, providing training and awareness workshops and sharing best practice guidelines. Our work catalyses longer-term sustainable waste solutions and helps future-proof against re-occurring difficulties.

REMOVE, RE-USE, RECYCLE: We also work closely with communities to design or source vital equipment and machinery as well as set up the most effective collection or clearance systems; enabling communities to handle waste safely, and to re-use, recycle and dispose of it as required.

Out of waste, RESOURCE AND RECOVERY: Waste and debris can provide a valuable resource for reconstruction works and can help stricken communities to generate much-needed income. We create emergency employment, often bringing together divided communities made up of refugees, internally displaced people and local populations, empowering them to re-build livelihoods and helping them to help themselves for a sustainable future.

Picture of Maryam

(PHOTO CREDIT, UNDP Nigeria/Lesley Wright)

Case Study: Maryam

Maryam, 70, a former-farmer from Ngwom, Nigeria is one of the crisis-affected community forced to flee for their lives by Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram which has perpetrated waves of bombings, abductions and assassinations. Maryam has found safety and employment through Disaster Waste Recovery with partner organisations UNDP and the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency. She works alongside men and women of all ages, in the run-up to the rainy season, to clear drains clogged with waste and debris to help prevent flooding around Maiduguri, in north-eastern Nigeria.

“I’m 50 years old. Actually, I don’t really know. I think I’m closer to 70.”