Attitudinal change towards waste management!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Waste management is a central issue in any urban settlement. Just like Kanifing Municipality and other metropolis, the issue is a thematic issue not only in The Gambia but in many developing countries.

People should understand that communities generate waste; the bigger and more economically advanced the community, the bigger and more varied the waste.

For instance, in highly populated areas like KM, waste is generated from many sources: from residences, industrial waste, from hospitals and other medical facilities and even from technological advancement (e-waste).

Therefore, the inauguration of a fleet of waste trucks by KMC within the municipality is a not only a welcome development but a commendable move. The provision of these waste trucks would go a long way in improving the environmental condition of the municipality.

The Kanifing Municipality has done it part. But what is the role of its inhabitants in making sure that waste generated from our homes are managed and collected safely?

This calls for more sensitization on effective waste management.

We thus call on communities particularly those near the designated dumpsites to understand that ‘if we continue in the current pattern of unhygienic waste disposal and ill waste management’, the next generation will have to address waste from millions of synthetic fabrics and apparel and the list goes on.

These are not biodegradable, and as they are photo-degrade over hundreds of years they release chemicals into the environment- both in the earth and air. 

Other hazardous products that end up in our waste stream include batteries, automotive fluids; and harmful household waste, such as oil-based paints, pesticides, and automotive fluids. Batteries for instance, contain lead that can leak into the soil.  Lead causes reduced learning, hyper-activity and behavioural problems, including violence. Toxins from waste can pollute our soil and surface and ground waters.  Soil contamination also poses human health risks to children playing on dumps.

Depending on location, dumps can keep water from draining which may lead to flooding. Illegal dumps can also pose a fire risk; disrupt wildlife habitats, and present physical hazards to human health.

Municipalities should be cognizant of these facts and above all know that the purpose of any development process is to achieve a decent society; decent not only in terms of material wellbeing of the people, but their physical wellbeing as well.

“The most important reason for waste collection is the protection of the environment and the health of the population. Rubbish and waste can cause air and water pollution. Rotting garbage is also known to produce harmful gases that mix with the air and can cause breathing problems in people.” 

The Point