Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Waste Management In Ghana... Only 30% Managed?

Source: Wanless.com

Now the first question I asked myself when I saw this article Ghana manages only 30 percent of her waste was- "What are the institutional bodies in charge of managing environmental issues doing about this?"

Then i remembered, these bodies have not been able to keep pace with the rapid accumulation of waste. They also concentrate more on disposal of waste rather than on management practices such as recycling. Also, some individuals who are unable to pay the fees charged by these companies but, on the other hand need to keep their homes clean and free of waste at all costs, resort to dumping their waste in inappropriate places. Others whose areas are not covered by these waste management companies also end up disposing their waste in like manner.

This has resulted in waste being found in gutters, drains, water bodies and on the streets and undeveloped pieces of land around the country. As one report by the Environmental Protection Agency stated, “municipal solid waste has been disposed of anywhere, anyhow, without regard to the nuisance and harm caused to the environment. All kinds of waste, regardless of their nature are being dumped indiscriminately into depressions, sand pits, old quarries, beaches, drains, and even in certain areas, along streets”. Pedestrians as well as motorists throw empty or sometimes, half-filled pure water sachets as well as food wrappers on the streets as they move about performing their daily activities. These are done with excuses such as, the unavailability of waste bins at those particular areas.

And with the case of sewage waste disposal, many people have resorted to easing themselves in open places as well as in black polythene bags and dumping them everywhere, often in gutters which end up getting choked. These gutters often leave a disgusting sight with its accompanying stench.

The accompanying consequences of such actions are more than obvious. Incidence of contagious diseases like Cholera and Tuberculosis have a field day preying on the lives of innocent people who probably played no role in degrading the environment. Not to mention, the environmental challenges- drains are choked, streets are heaped with refuse and emit unpleasant odour. In addition, the chocked drainage system has resulted, time and again, in flooding due to the inability of rain water to run its was long drains and smaller water bodies.

In the end however, it is up to us to, in our own small way, find ways to manage the waste we produce by ourselves...

Burn what can be burnt
Bury stuff that are organic so as to provide manure
Sort out plastics so that they are sent to their producers for recycling...

Now, is that so hard to do??

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