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Haphazard waste dumping under open sky is a contemptible image of Dhaka’s waste mismanagement. In this teeming capital, waste management has been a challenging task for Dhaka City Corporation authorities. Experts are of the opinion that lack of awareness among people, lack of financial resources, rapid growth of industries, inadequate trained manpower, lack of technical support are the major constraints of waste management of the metropolis. What is more troubling is that Water Supply and Sewerage Authority and Dhaka South City Corporation are jointly dumping millions of tons of trash and garbage out on the roads. Hence, it is high time for the authorities concerned to formulate and implement necessary policies and develop legal and strategic framework based on a new and reinvigorated perception of the present environmental situation in Dhaka.
Reportedly, Dhaka South City Corporation has bought 56 modern, heavy vehicles, aiming to enhance its waste management capability. The vehicles have been bought under a project, jointly financed by the Bangladesh and Japan governments. Under the project, a workshop will also be constructed in the DSCC area to repair vehicles, deployed to manage DSCC waste. The vehicles will be pressed into service within one month. It is indeed a commendable initiative but at the same time it is also a matter of disgrace to learn the allegations against WASA and City Corporation for not being able to set up liquid waste treatment plant till now.
Reports tell us that every day Dhaka generates seven thousand metric tons of waste, of which around 50-60 per cent is gathered in selected waste disposal sites. Roughly 20 per cent is collected and recycled and the rest remains uncollected and scattered on the roads or heaped near drains hindering the drainage system. Such a poor waste management system is putting public health in jeopardy while causing air pollution, water pollution and environmental degradation.
Considering all above, relevant authorities should immediately rethink about entire waste disposal, waste treatment and waste management system. We urge all authorities concerned to find alternatives to open dumping with environment-friendly options and we prefer waste recycling as a treatment option prior to disposal. Also we feel the need for creating consciousness amongst city dwellers through campaigns in mass media.