Christmas is here again! Party after Party, with so much to eat and drink. As you make plans to enjoy the festivities, it is important that you think about the environmental effect of some actions.
In this season, there is usually an exponential growth in the amount of Plastics and aluminums (inorganic waste) found in our waste streams. The handling and disposal of these inorganic waste is a major challenge for government. Mostly, due to the fact that residents do not sort their waste. Despite plastic and aluminium being recyclable wastes, you will find them in the drainage system.
THE ISSUES ON GROUND?
Residents in most African cities are not environmentally conscious of their actions. Hence, massive heaps of refuse will overtake their city in this yuletide. A simple walk or drive through the city in the early hours of the morning before the disposal trucks swing into action will give you a glimpse of these issues.
To make matters worse, some residents might dispose their refuse straight into the drainage system. Hence, whenever it rains, you see refuse littered on the pavement and in the gutters blocking the flow of water. Thereby, causing flash flooding along critical road networks.
WHO MANAGES OUR WASTE?
Every government has a Waste Management Agency that is responsible for waste management in the state. This agency is usually headed by a management team, and is responsible for the collection, treating and disposal of waste within the state.
The agency handles wastes along all spectrum; from household to industrial waste. It is important to note that the major source of waste in cities is households. Yes, household waste poses various economic, administrative, and social problems than industrial waste in cities.
In tackling this challenge, some agencies mandate a monthly and/or weekly sanitation exercise to clean up the city. For example, In Kigali-Rwanda and Port Harcourt-Nigeria, all residents are mandated to clean their surrounding every last Saturday of the month. Movement is restricted within the state during this activity.
In a bid to ensure proper waste management, most waste management agencies in Africa employ the services of contractors to handle waste management in various districts. This strategy helps in boosting efficiency in service delivery. These efforts by the agency are commendable, however, most residents disregard them. Thereby, resulting to weak implementation.
WHAT TO DO?
This brings us back to the question? Garden City or a Garbage City? The choice is ours to make, especially in this Yuletide! Your habit and attitude will reflect the choice you made!
- It nice to have family and friends come over to share the festivities! However, you could enjoy their warm company while serving water in a jug than buying cartons of plastic bottled water.
- As new cloths and appliances arrive into your home, you will definitely feel an impulse to discard the old item. Instead, organise a sale/give out those unwanted clothes, toys, appliances, and books that you no longer need.
- Use disposal paper plates to serve guests while throwing a party. These plates can be shredded after and put around the base of plants and flowers to help retain moisture and provide nutrients for the plant.
There are so many other environmentally conscious strategies to implement! Seek and you shall find more impactful strategies in restoring or maintaining your city as the “The Garden City”.
My City, My Responsibility!