Friday January 28, 2022

Unmanaged solid waste affecting quality of urban life, harming the poor: study

November 28, 2021
Unmanaged solid waste affecting quality of urban life, harming the poor: study

Unmanaged solid waste causes deterioration in the quality of urban life, ruining the landscape, filling oceans and harming the poorest of poor in the shape of vector diseases, malaria, asthma issues, and ultimately affecting the environment and damaging marine life.

Sumayya Sajjad, project director Tearfund, said at an event held on Friday to launch a study aimed at estimating the household solid waste generation, composition and characterisation, and understanding the community perception and practices of solid waste management.

UK-based agency Tearfund, under a solid waste management & recycling project funded by UKAID, conducted the study. For the study, Murad Memon and Moinabad union committees of District Malir and Saeedabad and Naval Colony of District Keamari were selected.

The study shows that poor waste management causes different problems such as health issues, including malaria and diarrhea. No waste management causes flies, insects, pollution, allergy and open dumping waste in vacant plots, streets and nullahs.

It has suggested waste collection on time, drain management, anti-fly sprays, provision of community dustbins, government sweepers, anti-mosquitoe sprays, proper collection services and transport.

The study shows that waste generation per house per day in District Malir is 1.44 kg in Murad Memon UC and 1.13kg a house a day in Moinabad UC. In District Keamari. Its 1.22kg per house a day in Saeedabad UC and 0.86kg a house per day in Naval Colony UC.

The results also show that around 50 per cent of the community is not aware of proper solid waste management. The majority of households do not use trash bags, practise self-deposing, and do not segregate household waste.

12,000 tons a day

At the event, Jonathan Johnson, country director Tearfund Pakistan, said that Karachi generates approximately 12,000 tons of solid waste every day.

“We are running a solid waste management and recycling project, which is based on reducing, recycling and reusing waste in the city,” he said.

In the first phase, Johnson said that the organisation has been working in two union committees of District Keamari, and two union committees of District Malir, partnering with the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB).

Having a virtual discussion, Dr Wolf-Peter Schmidt from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine elaborated on the effect of solid waste collection on exposure to environmental risk factors in poor urban settlements in Karachi.

Presenting key findings of the waste composition analysis study, Dr Saffar Korai, a professor of Mehran University Jamshoro, said 61 per cent of the green waste was recorded in Saeedabad of District Keamari, and the lowest 42 per cent in Murad Memon UC, whereas the highest and the lowest

proportion of recyclable waste was recorded as 38 per cent and 25 per cent in the household waste of Murad Memon UC, and Naval Colony UC of District Keamari, respectively.

Dr Muhammad Ali Nizamani said the study shows that more than 90 per cent of the population doesn’t segregate waste at the household level, which goes to the landfill without any recycling process.

Presenting the learnings of the study, Asher Loyal from Tearfund expressed that the majority of the people dispose of household waste on a daily basis, and the probability of waste segregation at the source remain high if facilitated.

Rizwan Jaleel, Manoj Kumar, and Eleazer Ronald from Tearfund, Ishaq Soomro, officials of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, Research Fellows of Mehran University Jamshoro, local community members, media personnel, youth activists, and other social activists joined the event.