LEDZOKUKU MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY
WASTE MANAGEMENT UNIT
TOPIC: THE BANE OF INDISCRIMINATE DUMPING INTO DRAINS AND OPEN SPACES
The Waste Management Unit is tasked with the core mandate of handling all cleansing activities in the Municipality. The Unit also co-ordinates the activities of the Waste Management Contractors who have franchise with the Assembly. There are a total of eight (8) officers and twenty-four (24) sanitary labourers who have varied tasks all geared toward a cleaner and safer environment.
One major problem besetting the Unit is the incidence of indiscriminate dumping into drains and open spaces. This situation poses a great deal of threat to the environment and human life.
2.0 POSSIBLE CAUSES & EFFECTS
The primary traceable causes are ignorance and poor attitudinal response on the part of a wide cross-section of the populace. These culprits defecate into polythene bags (popularly called ‘take away’) and drop them directly into drains and open spaces particularly at night. Additionally, any loose space they chance upon is converted into a dumping ground thereby accumulating large heaps of refuse at the affected spot.
Refuse dumped into drains accumulate and choke at a point especially in the dry season. The accumulated refuse generates an offensive odour rendering the surroundings unhygienic. Flow of liquid waste through the drains is also impeded making them stagnant. The stagnated liquid waste becomes a recipe for the breeding of mosquitoes and flies which act as vectors for diseases.
In the rainy season the accumulated refuse in the drains is washed into water bodies causing severe flooding and contamination. Consequently, the people in the community become prone to serious faecal-borne diseases like cholera and typhoid fever which take a heavy toll on resources and human life.
The Assembly spends huge sums of money to organize massive refuse heaps evacuation and desilting. However, due to the persistence of this condemnable practice coupled with the Assembly’ insufficient resources to address the situation exhaustively, the populace continues to suffer its harmful effects.
3.0 THE WAY FORWARD
Proposals have been lined up in our resolve to remedy this incidence and minimize its associated dangers;
- Public education and sensitization on the negative impact of indiscriminate dumping must necessarily be intensified by the various stakeholders (Assembly Members, Community Leaders, Chiefs etc.) in the Municipality. Though the Assembly prosecutes miscreants who fall victim to this practice, a positive attitudinal change will go a along way to forestall the incidence. This option of remedy is purely preventive and will save the Assembly huge sums of money to invest into other more beneficial ventures.
- The Assembly in partnership with waste management contractors must increase the provision of centralized containers and street litter bins to a wide range of residents in the Municipality. Operations of tricycles and ‘borla taxis’ must also be encouraged and regularized to facilitate door-to-door refuse collection.
- Appeal is made to religious bodies, institutions and other social groups to organize periodic clean-up campaigns to complement the good efforts of the Assembly. Since issues of waste management is a shared responsibility, residents are hereby requested to play a watch dog role by calling unlawful citizens to order or by lodging a complaint at the Waste Management & Environmental Health Office for prompt action.