Until fairly recently here in Nouakchott, a French company would drive round the city, collect all the rubbish and take it to a purpose built site out on the Nouadibhou road to do what rubbish collectors do the world over.
Unfortunately, due to fiscal issues, the French company no longer provides this service, thus the city now resembles a refuse collection site of its own. The government has started to make an effort to clean up, but its akin to the painting of the Forth road bridge (before the advent of the new paint).
I drove round the city a couple of days ago just having a look, and there was one particular area worse than the rest, truly vile.
As well as normal household refuse, there were dead animals and fish, as well as decaying remains of organic matter and human waste. The smell was pretty fresh.
I came back here to take some pictures, if you look at the top right of this pictures, you can see a lorry. It was akin to a snowplough, only it ploughed rubbish. The day before the rubbish was all over the road, so much so to be dangerous.
I spoke to this guy, who was in the process of chucking his rubbish from a days trading onto the side of the road, about 200m away from his house. He sells sea food, mussels, cockles and the like, the stench coming from his little cart was ripe indeed. He said he used to leave it outside his shop, and every day it was collected, but not any more.
Its fairly depressing seeing the amount of rubbish building up, as well as being an obvious hazard, both fire and health, but being in one of the poorest countries in the world, I know that currently, even when it is collected, its just taken out of the city, into the desert and dumped.