Modernisation and progress has caused the pollution on Mother Earth. With increase in the global population and the intensifying demand for food and other essentials, there has been a rise in the amount of waste being generated daily by households.This waste is ultimately thrown into public waste collection centres from where it is collected by the municipalities to be further thrown into the landfills and dumps. However, either due to resource lack or inefficient infrastructure or ineffective management, not all of the waste is well disposed. If the management and disposal is improperly done, it can cause serious impacts on human health and the environment
Ghana, as a developing country, can easily stand out among other developing countries on the same pedestal. Yet, the country has not learnt to make good use of the waste, and allow it to make people ill or kill them. I know our country knows about the ill health impacts of waste which recently claimed a lot of precious Ghanaian lives.The outbreak of cholera in 2014 reported in the Greater Accra Region increased from 3,600 to 5,000, with 45 deaths, the Greater Accra Regional Health Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Linda Van Otoo, said.100 death A total of 9,542 cholera cases, with 100 deaths, were reported in Ghana in 2012. But no deaths were recorded in 2013, despite some reported cases of the disease in the country. In 2011, 10,628 cholera cases, with 105 deaths, were reported.
Between 1970 and 2012, Ghana recorded a total of 5,498 cholera deaths, according to data compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Between 1991 and 1999, cholera claimed 1,067 lives, and between 2000 and 2012, 627 deaths were recorded.
Waste has got very good use in the world today. No one should pave the way for it to destroy lives. Ghana is a much of a prudent country to let filth be its major concern and be ranked as the second dirtiest country in West Africa in 2008 and 2011 by UNICEF/WHO.
Ghana produces a large quantity of waste and these waste products which are dumped behind houses produce bad stench. The waste attracts animals and microbes which bring about diseases such cholspera.
Our Government keeps fighting the waste, and has set the first Saturday of every month as National Sanitations Day (NSD).The areas at risk from the unscientific disposal of solid waste include the populations in slums where there is no proper waste disposal. Persons most at risk are pre-school children, pupils, waste workers and workers in facilities producing toxic and infectious material.
Other high-risk groups include people living close to waste dumps, landfill sites and those whose water supply has been contaminated either due to waste dumping or leakage from landfill sites. Organic domestic waste poses a serious threat since it ferments, creating conditions favourable to the survival and growth of microbial pathogens. Direct handling of solid waste can result in various types of infectious diseases.
Mr President, excuse me to say Ghana is wasting waste. The waste produced by people can be used for our benefit, not for our detriment. Waste of various types can be used for different recycled products. Mr President, with the environmental challenges raised above, there is a need to remind the citizens of the importance of cleanliness, which is often said to be close to Godliness. The central government must ensure that the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) up their game in waste management. The voluntary NSD is not the panacea.
Reducing waste and managing waste effectively and efficiently help to save money. To re-use is also another method. It means to use an item again after it has been used. Re-used waste also makes more of what you have rather than simply throwing it away. Mr President, let us recycle waste so that less waste goes into landfill, reducing waste’s negative impacts on health and the environment. Turning left-over food into green transport fuel helps in enriching the soil, and producing heat or electricity.
This is the time to stand up as a country and fight waste to our benefit; for, we have wasted waste for long. And it has, in turn, given us a tough combat by giving us diseases and causing death.