Editorial

Contending with refuse in our cities

Refuse production is a predictable accompaniment of life. As long as mankind subsists so shall refuse – an unavoidable effluent of our very existence.
Because we eat to survive and the industrial houses consume raw materials to produce, there must be something to throw away in the course of the preparation process. This is what is referred to as refuse in genetic terms.
It is therefore surprising that many communities and governments often find themselves overwhelmed by heaps and mountains of accumulated refuse.
But in the rural locations of the country the regular removal of the domestic refuse is the norm, indeed a given. Most households have waste disposal pits tucked somewhere at a corner of the compound but unfortunately both degradable and non-degradable materials are dumped together.
In the big towns and cities however, the municipal authorities endeavour to separate waste that will decay and the junk that do not rot easily. Some are recycled for the production of other items. This is applicable in more advanced countries. Here in Nigeria the Waste Disposal trucks still dislodge their ‘cargo’ at specific locations. Some of the trucks – open trucks – are covered with nets to prevent rubbish flying out while many others simply speed across without any covering and thus letting the evacuated waste mess up the roads.
They serve as “Waste DISPERSAL” trucks in the process.
How efficiently any government handles waste management goes a long way to rate such an administration. Governments at all levels have waste management as a core obligation, just as security and welfare of the citizenry.
Environmental Sanitation is an important profession that governments in Africa tend to ignore. But it is the practitioners of this sector that know best how to treat both municipal and industrial waste.
In modern times, we really cannot talk of the Health Sector without including waste disposal and management into the milieu.

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Christian Voice