Eating healthy foods to be strong, productive and live longer is synonymous to caring about waste management in our society. Sometimes the subject of solid waste management appears to be a huge monster without a face and a name – that everyone seems to runaway from or point the blame to someone else.
A television news item which highlighted the dumping of waste at the old Weija land fill site has inspired the writing of this piece. This is just one separate case but there are several areas including drains and gutters that pose serious hazards to the majority of people in our society.
It was reported by residents of the Weija area that leaking sewages from the land fill area flows into the Densu River which is their source of dinking water. This unhygienic condition has conveniently created a breeding ground for mosquitoes an an avenue for the spread of cholera, typhiod fever and other dangers to health . Livestock are also slaughtered in the area and sold for consumption. This can wreck the health and future of an entire generation if not corrected quickly. These are the essentials of life that we cannot continue to blatantly ignore as if those suffering the plight are not humans as we are.
The health implication is dire for the whole nation if we do not take seriously the issue of waste management and change our attitudes toward the issue. Landfill sites cannot continue to be avenues for injuries to the lives of people. It is even argued that these sites cannot be considered as landfill sites because they’re just surfaces of land where refuse are being dumped.
Landfill site management demands a careful, well thought out and scientific approach that would ensure the health and safety of people dwelling in those areas. It demands proper investment of human and financial resources to ensure proper management. The metropolitan authority nation wide along with waste mangers such as Zoom Lion has to be equipped and supported to manage waste appropriately.
What can we do about this?
Prioritize the issue of waste management. If it is a national problem, let us address it seriously.
Let us change our attitudes and mindsets. The people who litter our streets with filth are not mad people. They are students, marketers, religious folks, public servants, private workers and people we call responsible individuals. Take a decision today never to drop a plastic, water bag or any litter in the street and stick to it. Let this be a standard that governs your life. Let this be a value you are adding to your society and impart this to more people as possible.
I have observed that many people use the gutters as their garbage dump. This is nasty and disheartening. This also accounts for the heavy flooding of our streets when there is an average down pour of rain. Resolve to solve this problem in your own small way.
It is time for most people to start paying for the garbage accumulated. This shows you’re truly responsible and ready to address the problem. Some homes have a garbage pit there they burn their garbage papers and plastic. The street is not the dumping ground. Your own family members would get sick from your irresponsible action.
A comprehensive waste management policy is necessary. Yes, it is expensive but worth every pesewa. A Healthy continent is a prosperous continent. Policy makers must push this policy through and every one of us will support it. Generations to come will reap the benefits of a thinking society.
Much more can be done, but as Africans- our participation is crucial to rebuilding the leadership and prosperity of Africa. Add your voice to this debate and take action today.