The saga of waste disposal and poor drainage system in Africa

An opened rubbish ground in Nairobi, Kenya

The disposal of household waste worldwide is a problem that continues to increase with the development of industrialized nations and the growth of population. Poor waste disposal doesn’t only breed mosquitoes in tropical countries but could also cause an epidemic of widespread disease. After colonialism, most African countries were left in the very poor state, especially methods of its waste disposal and drainage systems.

The question is, if the Europeans are technically advanced in building underground drainage systems that there is no gutter found in any part of Europe or America, why did they fail to execute such projects in Africa during colonialism? Visiting Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, I saw one common thing, choked gutters. 

The gutters are filled with rubbish and debris, thereby causing impediment of movement of water during rainfall. Many countries in Africa experience drought during the dry season and when it rains many times there are floods because of the poor drainage system.

The most dangerous of all is within the Accra Central. Opened concrete slaps, after the evacuation of refuse from gutters, they are left uncovered, thereby causing more hazards to pedestrians. I’m wondering how many people have been injured or broken a foot, by accidentally falling into these gutters, while those responsible are left free to answer queries and charges for negligence or even to compensate the victim.

The prior aim of any government is to promote good health for the citizens of the country. Maintaining good health in Third-World countries could be very expensive but one of the best ways to reduce health cost is to maintain a proper waste disposal system. 

Mosquitoes are commonly seen in Europe, during the hot period in summer but surprising they do not carry any disease like malaria. Doctors don’t agree with Africans when they complain of malaria because there is no place for mosquitoes to breed such sickness in Europe.

Waste can be divided into many different types. The most common methods of classification are by their physical, chemical and biological characteristics. Federal regulations classify waste into three categories. Non-hazardous are those that pose no immediate threat to human health and the environment. 

Household garbage is included in this category. Hazardous wastes are of two types. Those that have common characteristics, ignitability or reactivity and those that contain toxic components.

With the rapid increase of population, many methods of waste disposal came into existence with landfill as the commonest of all the methods. But this is the most cost-effective method of disposal. Refuse is also burned in incinerators. 

It is more expensive but a safer method of disposal than landfill. To avoid the throwing away of garbage indiscriminately the government needs to come out with a scheme that would ensure the proper way of waste disposal to avoid flood due to the blockage of drainage systems within the country.

Refuse recycle by sorting, takes time, energy, labour, and money to make new products from recycled ones. Ghana is gradually climbing up from the slums of colonial infrastructure but until developing a modern method of improving its waste disposal and improving its drainage systems, please let’s help to keep the city clean. 

People found disposing of refuse and answering nature’s call indiscriminately must be arrested on the spot to pay a fine. These are some of the methods implemented by the European parliament and the plan has worked. Firstly, the cities are kept clean; secondly, the money goes into the government's coffers as a sort of tax generating.