Municipal environmental management

Project completed

Based on its significant expertise in the field of sustainable waste and wastewater management Switzerland supports Bolivia in addressing its environmental challenges by consolidating models of sustainable management of wastewater treatment services and solid waste management for small and intermediate cities. In coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Water, it contributes to the implementation of public policies reinforcing the quality and efficiency of environmental services, involving local populations and institutions. This will reduce harmful effects on the health of the population.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Environmental policy
Water sector policy
01.04.2019 - 31.03.2023
CHF  4’900’000
Background In 2018 Bolivia has a total population of 11.3 million inhabitants and 339 municipalities. In 2018, 63% of its population has access to sanitation services (wastewater). Only 31 of the 339 municipalities have a controlled landfill. About 90% of the final disposal sites are open-air dumps (without technical or operational pollution control measures), and more than half of them are close to water bodies. There are advances in environmental policies and laws, but implementation challenges remain. The solid waste sector lacks national regulatory authority and is institutionally weak. Sectoral financing (investments, technical assistance) is concentrated in drinking water, second in sanitation and marginally in solid waste. Investment decisions are concentrated at the national level for both sectors and the sources of financing are usually credits from development banks (IDB, CAF, WB), which makes it difficult to allocate stable budgets for the operation and maintenance of infrastructure and systems. The institutionality of the provision of both wastewater treatment and solid waste management services is low and the financial situation is precarious.

The health of the population in the municipalities covered by the project has significantly improved, especially of the most vulnerable groups.



In small and medium-sized cities in the country, the provision of environmental management services (wastewater treatment and solid waste management) is sustainable and reduces environmental pollution.

Target groups
  • Urban population in 9 municipalities (4 small cities, 3 minor intermediate cities and 2 major intermediate cities).
  • 300,000 women, children and men directly, including 40´000 people at a greater disadvantage by environmental pollution.
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Quality and efficiency of wastewater treatment services solid waste management have improved.

Outcome 2: Population is capable and committed to the management of their solid waste and wastewater

Outcome 3: Local institutions are capable of providing environmental management services and adequately monitoring their functioning.


Expected results:  

1.1-1.4: Technical capacities developed in technical staff of local service providers / in 7 municipalities a municipal costing system for environmental services in implementation / in 7 municipalities sustainable tariff agreements approved according to current regulations / consolidated local services.

2.1-2.4: 4 Communication/education campaigns reaching 300'000 people / Actions of mobilization for behavior change with participation of various institutional actors with protagonism of the municipal governments / Training courses in communication/environmental education and behavior change for municipal government personnel and communication professionals / Advocacy plan applied for the institutionalization of communication/environmental education actions in municipal governments.

3.1-3.4: Institutional strengthening of 2 departmental governments and 9 municipal governments incl. 5 service providers in the area of environmental management / 3 systematized management models of local waste water treatment and integrated solid waste management services / Conceptual development of a regional model of minimum quality standards for solid waste management.

Results from previous phases:  


In 18 municipalities from 3 regions (ecological floors) of the country, sanitation services (wastewater treatment) and solid waste have been optimized. The population has been included in the sustainable management of services and institutional capacities have been improved for their adequate provision. In 2018, in 10 municipalities, wastewater was treated according to standards and in 8 of these, environmental services (solid waste and wastewater) are sustainable. 147,000 people live in less polluted environments thanks to improved sanitation and solid waste management, which will ultimately impact significant improvements in public health.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation

Coordination with other projects and actors Vice-Ministry of Potable Water and Basic Sanitation / 9 municipal governments /2 departmental governments (Cochabamba, Chuquisaca)Project “Formación Técnica Profesional” (SDC with GIZ)SIDA - Swedish International Development Agency / Japanese Cooperation  - JICA
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’900’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    4’898’541
Project phases

Phase 2 01.04.2019 - 31.03.2023   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.05.2013 - 31.03.2019   (Completed)