Proper waste management is the set of provisions for the collection, transportation and environmentally sound disposal of waste. Managing waste properly and in an environmentally sound way is therefore important for health reasons.
Patricia et al 2013 pointed out that waste management is one of the major challenges of urban management in Sub Saharan African countries. Africa as a country is experiencing increase in population which means produced households’ waste continues to grow. Unfortunately, many countries have sidelined the management of waste.
Causes of Poor waste management
Improper disposal of waste
This is when wastes are disposed indiscriminately in illegal places. Some dispose their waste by the road side, on the highway, waterway, lake side, etc.
Inefficient collection method
Some of the vehicles used in collecting waste in some places are not in good working condition, thereby making some of them to dump part of the waste along the road.
Increased in population is one of the reasons why the governments of some countries have sidelined proper waste management. And this is one of the causes of poor waste management in such countries.
Inadequate funding by the government
Inadequate funding by the government is one of the reasons why some countries are facing poor waste management. There must be an adequate provision from the point of collection, transportation to the point where it disposed.
Low level of aware of importance of proper waste management and a sanitized environment to the populace in developing countries
Effect of Improper waste disposal to the environment
Improper waste management and illegal waste shipments can have negative impacts on both environment and public health. Negative impacts can be due to different handling and disposal activities resulting in soil, water and air pollution.
Inadequately disposed of or untreated waste may cause serious health problems for populations surrounding the area of disposal. Leaks from the waste may contaminate soils and water streams, and produce air pollution through emissions of e.g. heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), ultimately creating health hazards.
Other nuisances caused by uncontrolled or mismanaged waste disposal which may affect citizens negatively include impacts at local level, such as landscape deterioration, local water and air pollution, as well as littering.
(Source: WHO meeting report 2015 “waste and human effect: evidence and needs“)
Health Effect of improper waste disposal
The health effects of poor waste management to the environment has many studies have investigated include:
- Congenital anomalies
- Respiratory diseases
- Neural tube defects
- Abdominal wall defects
- Surgical correction of gastroschisis and exomphalos
- Low birth weight for births to people living within 2 km of the sites, both of hazardous and non-hazardous waste
- Increased risk of cancer
- Malaria appears the most encountered disease in Sub Saharan Africa as a result of improper waste disposal
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