Opinion

Talking trash! Are we really clear about waste management?

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Deng John Atem

Though statistic is unclear, Juba city generates a lot of waste than understood. Proper waste management in amateur can be anything or process that is in best principle of health, economics, engineering, conservation, aesthetics and other environmental considerations that are responsive to public attitudes. In best principle, there are two ways of managing waste; the first is formal way which is managed by the government. This system mandates the government to ensure safe, reliable, cost effective and final disposal of waste. The second is the informal system which engages private dealers such as communities of scavengers and private associations who sort the potential waste materials for reuse and recycling such as plastic, bottles, paper and cans for household use. This system encourages charges for waste collection in the residential areas.

The waste management presently in Juba dates back to centralized system that was introduced during the colonial days. This system involved the use of imported refuse truck that collects wastes from sources or transfer point and delivers to designated waste dumpsites. This system is however inefficient because of the higher population growth which translates into increased volume of waste production as a result of increased consumption.

In many parts of Juba City waste management persisted to be one of the major challenges every day. It tends to increase daily forcing its management to be inefficient in terms of collection and disposal methods. This situation is witnessed by lack of waste awareness and education, technical issues, poor coordination, inadequate funding, ineffective policies, poor governance, weak institutions, weak international influence and inadequate or unavailable market for recyclables.

Currently the uncollected waste is normally dumped in open areas, streams, open drainage channels, and other areas inaccessible to waste collection vehicles, thus creating environmental and public health hazards for local residents. It is therefore important to properly understand waste management to develop how wastes are handled, stored, collected, and disposed of to provide healthy living condition for the residents.

Inadequate waste management can greatly affect the health of the population. This can caused skin irritations, blood infections, respiratory problems, malaria, typhoid, water pollution, soil contamination, air pollution, growth problems, and even reproductive issues. In an effort to alleviate this situation, it is however recommended that the waste management privatizes waste collection so as to improve the cleanliness of the city.

The author is Environment and Natural Resources Management Specialist. He can be reached at djohnatem@gmail.com

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