06
Jun

IMPLICATIONS OF INDISCRIMINATE WASTE DISPOSAL (The Nigerian observer)

There are lots of implications when wastes are not properly handled and indiscriminately disposed of. The effects are negative and could be detrimental. It poses risk to our Environment, Health, Social and psychological life, Infrastructure and Aesthetic.

When wastes disposed of indiscriminately are not collected, it gives rise to unsanitary condition which poses environmental and health hazard risk. The condition create a breeding ground for diseases causing agent to thrives and outbreak of diseases like cholera, diarrhea, Malaria, Tetanus, Lassa fever, Typhoid and Yellow fever, Hookworm and other parasite infestation. Indiscriminate waste disposal promotes fecal contamination of the hands, food and water that can result to fecal-oral transmission diseases. Waste disposed of indiscriminately can also result to water pollution, land pollution, drainage blockage, flooding and infrastructural degradation.

Open dump site in developing urban cities are uncontrolled and therefore pose major health threat which affect the land scape of urban cities. UNEPA (united nation environmental protection Agency) informal solid waste management 2006, stated that waste that are not properly managed, especially solid waste from households and the community are a serious health hazard and lead to the spread of infectious diseases. The report further stated that unattended waste lying around attract flies, rats, and other creatures that, in turn, spread diseases.

Normally, it is the wet waste that decomposes and releases bad odor. The bad odor affects the people settled next to the dumpsite, which shows that the dumpsite have serious effects to people settled around or next to them. The group at risk from this unscientific disposal of solid waste includes the population in areas where there is no proper waste disposal method especially the pre-school children, waste workers and workers in facilities producing toxic and infectious materials. Other high-risk group includes population living close to the waste dump Atamila et al., (2010).

Organic domestic waste in particular according to Nwanta and Ezenduka (2010), poses a serious threat, since they ferment, creating conditions favorable to the survival and growth of microbial pathogens. Direct handling of solid waste can result in various types of infectious and chronic diseases with the waste workers and rag pickers being the most vulnerable.

Research have also revealed that exposure to hazardous waste in dumpsite can affect human health, children being the most vulnerable to these pollutants. Direct exposure can lead to disease through chemical exposure as the release of chemical waste into the environment leads to chemical poisoning. Waste from agriculture and industries can also cause serious health risks. Co-disposal of industrial waste with municipal waste can expose people to chemical and radioactive hazards. Health care waste and other medical waste disposed in dumpsite, mixed with domestic waste, increases the risk of infection with Hepatitis B and HIV, and other related diseases.

Open dumpsites are a major problem to the environment especially to the air that we inhale. Dumpsites emit obnoxious odors and smoke that cause illness to people living in, around, or closer to them. Pollutant deposited on land can enter the body through contaminated crops, fruits, food products, animals and water. Dumpsite closer to residential areas can be a feeding place for dogs and cat apart from rat. These pet with rodents can bring diseases with them to nearby homes. Respiratory diseases, irritation of the eyes, nose and skin, gastrointestinal problems, allergies and psychological disorder have also been traced to unregulated dumpsite and indiscriminate waste disposal.

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