Let’s embrace proper waste management

Friday, May 31, 2019

Waste management is a serious problem in many developing countries including The Gambia. People should also change their attitude towards proper handling of wastes. It is not anywhere, where people should throw waste. Remember that the anti-littering bill is in full swing.

However, local authorities should take proper mechanism to ensure that our environment is kept clean. It is common knowledge that waste management is a central issue and synonymous with urbanisation.  Proper handling of waste remains the most pressing challenge confronting our municipalities and councils particularly in the urban centres.

If the current pattern of unhygienic littering of our neighbourhods continues, the next generation will have to address waste from millions of plastic containers and bags, electronics and computer parts.

The worrying part is that some of these materials found in waste are not biodegradable, and as they photo-degrade over hundreds of years they release chemicals into the environment. 

And hazardous products that end up in our waste stream include batteries, automotive fluids; and hazardous household waste, such as oil-based paints, pesticides, and automotive fluids. For instance, batteries contain lead that can leak onto the soil.  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. The municipality 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.

We called on authorities to continue their effort in devising concrete steps with regard to the disposal of waste and its management in our communities. In some countries, pile of wastes are processed which are tune into useful object that in turns benefit the communities.

“Human society sustains itself by transforming nature into garbage.”

Mason Cooley