Home Institution

The George Washington University

Publication Date

Summer 2018

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology


I am going to tell you a story about humans — their lives, livelihoods, environments, and their individual relationships to sustainable waste prevention. As developing countries, such as Tanzania experience economic growth, waste overflow and proper waste disposal become even more arduous challenges. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important to explore sustainable solutions such as waste prevention. Through conducting semi-structured interviews in two distinctly unique locations, Moshi Urban of the Kilimanjaro Region and Ushongo Village on the coast of Tanga Region, Tanzania, I explored how levels of awareness and involvement in sustainable waste prevention practices, specifically reducing, reusing, and recycling, contrasted in these sites. Drawing from these interviews, I wrote short narratives through various socio-demographic characteristics of individuals, such as gender, age, education, and profession, to evaluate the importance of each variable in influencing awareness and involvement levels in waste prevention. By speaking with each individual, I hoped to uncover a deeper understanding of the relationship between people and sustainable waste prevention based on their socio-demographic backgrounds and residency, and in reaction to larger environmental issues such as waste pollution and climate change. In completing this study, I found that waste prevention may be a possibility for the affordable and easy introduction of sustainability into developing communities, such as those I immersed myself in for this project, which may not have the resources for supporting large-scale sustainable development initiatives. Nevertheless, there is still a long, long way to go if implementation and use of these methods are to be successful. To effectively help mitigate waste pollution, and thus climate change on a larger scale, education, specifically education regarding each waste prevention method and the importance of the environment, is needed. Although there is a long way to go, my findings also illustrated the power human decision and effort has to motivate greater change for a sustainable future. Whether on a government or individual, global, national, or local level, people hold the greatest power for change.


African Studies | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Policy | Environmental Sciences | Environmental Studies | Human Ecology | Infrastructure | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sustainability | Urban Studies


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