The selection of transfer locations for Maseru Municipality
The management of municipal solid waste presents serious challenges for municipalities in most countries. Inadequate service coverage and operational inefficiency have led to uncollected solid waste on the roads and in other public areas which poses threats to human health and the environment. Maseru city in Lesotho faces the same challenges. Poor management has resulted in illegal dumping of waste, and littering can be seen on the public places. Maseru City Council is constructing a sanitary landfill that will respond to the challenges presented by the poor management of the solid waste. The proposed sanitary landfill is about 45 kilometers away from Maseru. For this landfill to be effective, transfer stations have to be established within the metropolitan area for collecting, separating and sorting of solid waste. This study aimed at identifying suitable sites on which solid waste transfer stations could be located Selecting the location of transfer facility sites is a complex process which involves technical, physical, economical, social, environmental and political requirements that may result in conflicting objectives. Such complexities necessitate the simultaneous use of several decision support tools such as Geographical Information System (GIS) and Multi Criteria Decision Method (MCDM). In this study the model was developed using GIS and MCDM to identify the possible location for construction of transfer station sites. The criteria used included; Topography, Land use, Distance from rivers and Distance from roads. Fifteen sites with varying land suitability were identified as potential locations for required transfer stations. These sites were ranked in descending order to indicate the priority of different options available to decision makers. However, only two sites suited almost all the criteria for selection and they can be used for the construction of the transfer facilities The results achieved by this study may help urban planners and decision makers by availing a variety of options to be considered for transfer facility locations for proper waste management in the city.