THE PROBLEMS OF POOR URBAN WASTE DISPOSAL MANAGEMENT

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Beneath the muck and the haze from a nearby smoking dump lies the Odaw River, sluggishly carrying an untold volume of plastic waste, garbage and human excrement to the Korle Lagoon and on to the sea. On the low-lying lands along the river’s edge is Old Fadama, Ghana’s largest slum, home to some 80,000 people. Copyright:Photo Nyani Quarmyne

Rapid population growth and urbanization have resulted in poor environmental conditions in most urban settlements in Ghana. Solid waste disposal in particular has become a daunting task for the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in this country. Even though appreciable portions of internally generated and common funds of most Assemblies go into waste management, our streets and gutters are filled with rubbish which makes the environment very dirty as well serving as breeding grounds for hundreds of illnesses.

It is undeniable that good waste management practice every where is known to provide a better living environment and reduce the risks of health hazards. It is also an essential factor contributing to productivity and welfare for the people.

The challenge facing most Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAS) in Ghana today is how to provide adequate disposal facilities effectively to handle the large volumes of waste generated. While cities in the developed countries have generally overcome the problem of waste accumulation and now grapple with finding appropriate methods of treatment and disposal, cities in the developing country are still grappling with the basic problem of waste accumulation as well as its disposal. Ghana has not been an exception. My question to city authorities is that if they are truly concerned with the safety of our environment then what prevents them from acquiring the necessary knowledge in technical know how from nations which have already conquered the problems of poor disposal and handling of waste? What is preventing them from adopting same methods and strategies in combating our waste disposal problems? This is the question on my mind for this week.
This was inspired by an article on the Guardian titled

This is not a good place to live’: inside Ghana’s dump for electronic waste

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/14/ghana-dump-electronic-waste-not-good-place-live

-Sultan Nuhu
PICTURES TALK LOUDER.
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