#Editorial

Organic waste is the best manure!

Jun 2, 2022, 11:01 AM

It is an undeniable fact that management of organic waste is a major challenge for most developing countries and The Gambia is not an exception. On a daily basis tons of waste are disposed around the neighbourhoods.

However, most of these wastes end up on our roads before being collected by municipality waste collectors.

We all know that waste generates unpleasant odors and helps rats, flies, bugs and mosquitoes multiply, thereby spreading diseases.  As it decomposes, organic waste generates methane, a gas that contributes significantly to global warming.

It is in the news that women vendors at the Albert Market in Banjul are anticipating a mega project with the launch of an organic waste management project at the market. A local charity, Mbolo Association, is the one behind this ambitious project.

With this project, market vendors at the said market would be provided with a 10-liter dustbin to ensure the market is kept clean at all times. This waste would in turn be put into something useful.

The development could not have happened at a better time, when authorities are working on modalities how best they could regenerate waste from our neighborhoods into something beneficial. 

Environmental experts conclude that diverting organic waste for use as a resource is a missed opportunity for some developing countries since 64 % of the waste generated in low income countries is organic.

There is tremendous incentive for these countries to benefit if these organic waste are turned into useful resources.  The benefit for the environment is huge, and this could be done in a cost effective way. 

In most African communities organic waste could be turned into compost to grow crops, reducing dependency on chemical fertilizer, or clean organic waste could be used to feed animals.

It is high time our municipalities look for partners so as to acquire technologies and equipment necessary to support a new program aimed at increasing the separation of waste at source into recyclable and other organic waste.

These waste if processed or turned into compost would only cut down our dependency on fertiliser, which price continues to escalate beyond the reach of poor farmers. The rich surge in the cost of fertilizer is a wake-up call that putting all our hope on the west is not sustainable. Let’s revive and apply our old method of making manure (compost) in our backyards. This is the only forward in enhancing and making agriculture viable in the country.

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