Odour pollution in Kampala, Uganda: identification through participatory methods and production of a strategy in the markets to eradicate them

Technical details

Mapping for Communities - Uganda

Action area:
Central and Eastern Africa . Uganda
Waste cycle
  • AMB: 36.627,93 €


An important part of pollution in urban areas is related to odours. In countries with poor waste treatment infrastructures, this problem can be aggravated by proximity to both the many existing landfills – which usually affect lower-income populations – and other areas used on a daily basis. An example of the latter is municipal food markets, which are a major source of organic waste because in the absence of appropriate treatment, they emit unpleasant odours that affect workers’ and consumers’ well-being and their right to a healthy environment.

Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) is working with the Kampala-based non-profit organisation Mapping for Communities, which is part of the D-Noses odour pollution research group, to develop a strategy for the markets. Mapping for Communities works with a participatory methodology based on the concept of community-based citizen science and participatory geographic information systems (GIS), within which different groups of citizens cooperate on a voluntary basis to provide data that facilitates action for environmental justice.

In this context, the project works towards rights to environmental sustainability, metropolitan governance, access to information, public participation and justice concerning environmental issues affecting communities living in urban areas, and will contribute to the empowerment and equality of girls, boys and women in Uganda.

Environmental education activities are carried out within the framework of the project, based on a citizen science approach, targeting school children as well as people working in municipal markets, to introduce tools for monitoring and tracking odour pollution in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Training sessions are also designed and organised for the civil servants of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), two of the local stakeholders and parties with obligations involved in the project. As a result of this collaboration, through the waste management and international cooperation services, Mapping for Communities - Uganda and the AMB have provided technical support for the process of revising Uganda’s National Environmental Law, in which odour air pollution as a focus of concern and action within the Act was included for the first time. The cross-cutting principles of environmental and gender sustainability are applied throughout the project, as the actions are focused on improving the welfare of women working in the municipal markets and promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers among girls at the schools the project works with.