Home Awardee Profiles Jojo Woodham, Victoria University of Wellington

Jojo Woodham, Victoria University of Wellington

Jojo’s Research Topic: “From Dumpsite to Landfill: navigating social inclusion within solid waste management in Dili, Timor-Leste”

“Flying into Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital, you might see smoke rising from the west. This is Tibar dumpsite, Timor-Leste’s official waste disposal site. I took this picture on my first site-visit, but the smoke is a daily occurrence. The people in the photo are burning rubbish to expose scrap-metal, which is then stockpiled and sold to a dealer. In a way, these waste-workers provide a public service; reducing the volume of waste and facilitating recycling. Dumpsites like Tibar are not uncommon in developing countries, yet they pose severe environmental and public health risks – this was very much evident from my site-visits to Tibar. You can feel the smoke in your eyes.The Timorese government is currently looking to upgrade Tibar to a controlled landfill. Elsewhere, waste-workers are excluded from this process, governments typically prohibit waste-workers’ access to their livelihoods. Guided by environmental justice, my research looks at balancing social inclusion with improved environmental outcomes in Dili’s dumpsite-to-landfill transition.”

Jojo Woodham, Master’s in Environmental Studies
October 2019

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