Poor waste Disposal is a Real Threat to All Forms of Life.

Today waste is everywhere. A walk in our cities can confirm my claims and we are threatened today more than ever with waste, especially one that is non-biodegradable. Rising claims from environmentalists paint a faint picture of any better future coming our way.

A few weeks ago, I travelled to Mombasa on a local business trip. As our vehicle sped off and across the airport, having arrived on that afternoon, I noticed a lot of waste disposed along the road. I turned to a colleague of mine seated next to me and asked him if there was any recycling plants in Mombasa. He told me there was none, at least to the length of his knowledge about the city. It then clicked on me that waste seems to be a major challenge everywhere in this country.

Sustainable Development Goals focus squarely on making our cities safe, resilient and inclusive. Part of making our cities safe and habitable is need to have proper waste management policies in place. They should ensure proper waste disposal, treatment, handling, and recycling those that are non-biodegradable.

I have read quite a number of posts about Rwanda’s campaign for clean cities with Kigali becoming top in setting the pace for the East Africa Region. Rwanda in fact was among the first countries to ban use of plastic bags. Kenya followed suit and I can attest that we have taken some milestone in imposing the no plastic bag ban. This however has not helped as much as was anticipated to reduce the waste in our streets and places of living.

This waste now threatens our survival. From marine life, wildlife to even human life. Rev. Timothy Njoya posted a tweet, some weeks ago, in which he had tied several bottles which floods had disposed in his garden across a water tunnel. It sparked relentless complaints from other members of the public on how the waste had blocked sewer lines which overflow and leave stinking smells on our roads and places of living.

In looking at how we can solve the issue of waste, I realized it goes beyond banning plastics and maybe glass. It needs a complete overhaul of our mind sets. We need to focus not on the governments or any bodies involved with waste handling, rather we should focus on ourselves. Then and then only can we begin to handle the waste issue seriously.

Poor waste management is becoming a serious threat to all forms of life. Photo Courtesy by Gorilla Bins.

Whenever we hear of disease outbreaks, it is as a result of poor waste disposal. Take for example such disease outbreaks such as malaria, which has been terrorizing children for long now, it results out of dirt, stagnant water and such things as waste bottles which often collect waste water in them. Typhoid and cholera outbreaks are common and result due to poor waste handling and disposal. There have been other unique disease outbreaks all tied to poor waste handling and disposal.

So what do we do? It is time it became less and less of them and became more and more about ourselves. We need to take the necessary steps needed to ensure our health is guaranteed.

It is high time we looked more and more into recycling as much waste as we can especially the non-biodegradable. The organic and biodegradable one can be turned to fertilizers, animal feeds or other sustainable products. We can create a lot of industries out of waste. Israel is doing somehow great in this line of recycling.

I learned of a case of one lady who has been making Eco-friendly posts from waste plastic and that has had a ripple effect in saving other forms of life. Trees and forests are saved, fish and other aquatic lives are saved too the stress caused by these debris in the water which hinder sunlight penetration and air circulation which are key components of healthy fish growth.

The waste turned to fertilizer lessens up the excess carbon gases released from decomposing heaps of organic matter that release methane to the atmosphere. It as well destroys the habitat for disease causing agents that are the cause of problems to human life. Reduced diseases mean one thing for sure; reduced medical bills, happy families and decreased mortality levels.

Waste is a huge catastrophe. I have only spoke about domestic and simple waste generated by poor waste disposal by humans. There are other aspects of industrial waste, nuclear waste, as well as medical and chemical wastes which pose a greater danger also to marine, human and plant life. I will look into them in a later post.

Let us work together to ensure there is sensitization of our people on the need to properly handle and dispose wastes. We should also encourage the efforts made to recycle wastes to ensure our cities are clean, safe and sustainable even for the coming generations as urban settlements are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

Copyright @ 2018.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at info@dailyfocus.co.ke
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